FRIONA, TX (KFDA) - Friona residents are asking for help making one area intersection safer, following a car accident there Thursday that resulted in the death of an 8-year-old boy.
The intersection at SH-86 and SH-214 eight miles south of Friona is a location that all citizens know about because of how many car accidents occur there.
"They're not just fender benders," said Lynn Nelson, a registered nurse at Parmer Medical Center for almost 40 years. "They are major trauma, or they go over here to the funeral home."
Residents said cars and trucks travel through this intersection at up to 75 miles per hour, and only one of the highways has a stop sign.
There have been two accidents here just within the past month.
"When we hear it's a hub intersection, we start getting everything ready because we know it's not going to be minor, it's going to be major," said Nelson. "We'll need more staff on board, we'll need more equipment, we need everything laid out and ready because it could be really really bad."
TxDOT could not supply the total number of wrecks and fatalities by news time, but provided this statement:
"TxDOT has taken steps to address safety at that intersection, including adding signs with flashing lights warning motorists that crossing traffic does not stop. Rumble strips and signs have also been installed to alert drivers of the approaching intersection. TxDOT is looking into the concerns voiced by the citizens of Parmer County and remains committed to providing the safest roads possible for the traveling public."
But there are no rumble strips at or near that intersection, and residents said the flashing lights attached to the two stop signs aren't enough for drivers to see at night.
"The speed is probably a controlling factor, east west sun is a controlling factor," said Becky Riethmayer, concerned Friona citizen. "Beyond that I cannot answer. It puzzles all of us why that's such a bad intersection. We all are very aware of it. We all hold our breaths and pray any time any of us ever drive through it."
Riethmayer, Nelson and countless other citizens are asking for help petitioning TxDOT to add a stoplight, flashing lights or even four way stop signs - anything to put residents' minds at ease.
"We've got to do something," said Riethmayer. "A child died there [Thursday] and that's not the first fatality. It's not the first injury. And these injuries are lifelong, and the nightmares that accompany them never go away."
The Friona community is coming together for this cause, and ask for more help contacting TxDOT about this intersection.
You can fill out this form to help make a difference.