Residents say safety improvements a must for dangerous intersection

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PARIS, TX -- After Tuesday's fatal accident in Paris that claimed the lives of two Texas A&M-Commerce student-athletes, many residents are standing up asking what can be done to make the intersection safer.

For years nearby residents tell us they've urged officials to make the intersection safer, but to no avail.

"I think they need to do something immediately, because sad to say it's just going to happen again," said Paris resident Ralph Taylor.

According to Paris Police, the intersection has seen 40 accidents resulting in 40 injuries and seven fatalities since 1995.

"It's really an usual situation that there is no sight restrictions out there, the speed limit is 55, you just really don't have a good reason why we are having so many accidents there," said Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley

For 40 years, Ralph Taylor has lived in his house just a couple hundred feet away from the intersection. He says he's witnessed several bad accidents throughout the years.

"Usually when there is a wreck there, there is from one to two people killed," said Taylor. "We've went down there and picked people out from the ditch and we've pulled them out from under dashboards of their cars. It's a very dangerous intersection."

The intersection is a divided highway and many motorists come through the crossover and fail to yield to oncoming traffic, causing many of the accidents.

The city of Paris has no jurisdiction on the intersection, due to it being a state highway maintained by TXDOT.

"Citizen input is always excellent, it's always needed," said Paris Traffic Commission Chairman Ken Kohls. "The more voices you get, the better off you are."

The Traffic Commission has recommended several ideas to TXDOT to make the intersection safer, including an overpass and a traffic light. TXDOT says they're currently studying the intersection, but no safety improvements are in their immediate plans.

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