SCDOT adds new lights, signs to deadly Columbia intersection

SCDOT adds new lights, signs to deadly Columbia intersection

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - At the corner of Monticello and Camp Ground Roads in Richland County, there have been two fatalities in the past three years.

Just a few weeks ago, after the latest fatality, the SC Department of Transportation studied the intersection and decided bigger and better signs were needed. Without them, it's an intersection that can sneak up on you if you don't know it's coming.

"They're really tall. That has to be the tallest stop sign I've ever seen," Stephanie Hightower, who lives on Monticello Road said.

Hightower says they're long overdue because the intersection is a dangerous one.

"On Camp Ground Road, there's a curve before the stop sign, and the way the road curves, you could not really see the stop sign until the very end," Hightower explained. "By then, it was usually too late for most people, and with this intersection being so wide, the stop sign was set pretty far off to the side."

Now, the one lonely stop sign is gone, and in its place, there are taller ones, some with flashing lights, along with a collection of warning signs too.

Hightower says she is excited, but it's excitement that's bittersweet.

"It's depressing because of the people that were killed on this corner," Hightower said.

Troopers say, back in July, a driver ran the old stop sign and caused a fiery crash that killed a truck driver who swerved to avoid colliding. Hightower invited WIS out a week later to talk about the problem. After pulling the statistics, it was found there were five other crashes in the area since 2012, including another fatal wreck in 2014.

"I definitely think they could have been prevented," Hightower said.

After the latest crash, SCDOT says it studied the intersection and noticed a pattern of people disregarding the old signs. Now, the signs can't be missed.

"No, you cannot miss any of these signs, so now if you wreck here, you're just not paying attention," Hightower said.

She went on to say, believe it or not, she's already noticed that people seem to be slowing down a little sooner and driving a little safer near the intersection.

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