This accident from early August at Antioch and Goza roads required the Jaws of Life to extricate one of the victims. Courtesy Fayette County Fire/EMS

At Issue: How should Fayette County reduce intersection dangers?

A violent car accident that took the life of an elderly woman has heightened awareness of ongoing problems at a busy intersection in southeastern Fayette County.

On May 11, two women were critically injured when their car was hit by a pickup truck at the intersection of Antioch Road and Goza Road. Nancy Collins and Natalie Davis, both 82 and from Hampton, had stopped at the stop sign on Goza but were struck while crossing Antioch. They were airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital, where Davis died the next day. The number of crashes and injuries so far in 2017 has already exceeded the yearly total for 2016.

The intersection is among several in Fayette County that have been realigned from a “dog leg” configuration to a straight 90-degree angle each way, with the intent of improving traffic flow and safety. But nearby residents claim accidents and near misses have only increased since the intersection was changed.

Those who spoke at the Aug. 24 meeting of the Board of Commissioners told harrowing accounts of incidents they blame on speeding, increased traffic flow and the perception that the intersection is a four-way stop when in fact there are stop signs only on the Goza Road sides. Limited visibility caused by the hill on Antioch Road was also noted.

The route is an increasingly busy one connecting Fayette with Henry County, exacerbated by traffic going to and from the Whitewater school complex. As a result of more serious incidents, Fayette County has made the intersection its top priority and plans are underway to make it a four-way stop within weeks. However, as Public Works Director Phil Mallon told the commissioners, more stop signs are likely an interim measure as traffic engineers evaluate the best solution, which may be a roundabout.

Fayette and Henry residents, what are your experiences with this intersection? Do you think a four-way stop is adequate, or would you like to see other changes? Send comments to communitynews@ajc.com by Tuesday. Replies may be published in print or online.

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