Baylor County and state officials discuss petition on dangerous intersection

Local News

SEYMOUR (KFDX/KJTL) — Nearly one month after a wreck involving a Greyhound bus left one dead, Baylor County is working to find a solution to making the intersection of Highway 277 and 183 in Mabelle safer.

It’s a heartbreak no family wants to endure. Karla Miller’s brother, Mike, was on his way home after letting his students out for spring break in 2011. Mike had plans of getting married over the break but after a car pulled out in front of him, Things took a turn for the worst.

“He survived the initial collision,” Mike Miller’s sister, Karla Miller said. “He was unable to get up and get off the roadway. The driver of the van felt horrible of course. He’s out there calling his dad in Vernon and said ‘dad there’s been an accident I need you to call 911. He’s alive but we need help.’ It was at that time that a westbound pickup came up into the intersection and impaled on both of them.”

According to a Texas peace officer’s crash reports, from 2010 to 2019 there have been 38 crashes and two deaths at the intersection of Highway 277 and 183 in Mabelle. Nearly a month ago, a deadly collision involving a Greyhound bus and a pickup killed at least one person and injured many others.

Baylor County resident Kelly Fest was at Seymour Hospital with her mother the day of the crash and witnessed ambulances carrying in victims. That’s when she knew something needed to be done.

“I started seeing people come in screaming just in pain and just, I don’t know it left an impression on me,” Fest said. “It left its mark and it was traumatic sitting there watching that. I thought right then not one more death, never again. We need to do something, something has got to be done.”

On Tuesday, several residents spoke in front of Baylor County and state officials hoping for change.

“The next step is to keep meeting with TxDOT and to see if we can get this intersection moved up on the priority list,” District 69 Texas Rep. James Frank said. “There may be some temporary things that can be done. There have already been somethings that have been done to make this intersection safer. There may be some other things that can be done in the short term.”

Now with the future of the intersection in the hands of state leaders, Miller hopes no other family will have to endure the pain her family has dealt with.

“There’s a marker there to mark the scene of the incident on the northwest side of the intersection,” Miller said. “I honk and I blow a little kiss.”

TxDOT provided the following statement over the matter to Texoma’s Homepage:

“We have actually applied for safety funding for this location since 2016. However, this project has not been awarded any money. This project is competing against all other safety projects around the state. A very preliminary design was developed and a very preliminary cost of $12 million was anticipated for the design.”

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