STEWART COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) – A highway in Stewart County is having a big impact on a small community, causing four deaths in the last year, the local police chief says.
US Route 27 and Georgia State Route 27 in Lumpkin, Ga., has caused multiple fatalities in just one year. US Route 27 runs north and south of Lumpkin, Ga., and Georgia State Route 27 runs east and west of the small town.
Drivers on the highway are driving at dangerously high rates of speed and those crossing the intersection onto the highway aren’t making complete stops at the stop signs or they don’t see the oncoming traffic, according to local officials.
Police Chief Ronald Jackson says there have been four fatalities on the highway in the past year. Within a year’s time, we’ve had four fatalities out here.
“Within a year’s time we’ve had four fatalities out here. The speed limit needs to be reduced if the speed limit is not reduced, then we need lights, a red light here,” Jackson said.
Jackson says the main cause of the fatalities is because drivers coming northbound simply cannot slow down fast enough to avoid drivers who are crossing the intersection from Georgetown. The speed limit on the Georgia 1 is 60 mph, but drivers are exceeding that limit.
The fatalities that took place all happened a month apart from each other. The most recent accident that took place was three weeks ago. The victims of these accidents were elderly people who were trying to drive across the intersection but they misjudged the clearance.
“We had one about three weeks ago and prior to that we had one about a month ago. It’s a lot of senior citizens because they’re coming from there and once they make a complete stop and once those tractor trailers are coming down that hillway, they don’t have a chance,” Jackson said.
The Police Chief wants to have the speed reduced on the highway. He has written a letter to the Georgia Legislature to come and look at the highway, he’s also called The Georgia Department of Transportation. Jackson reached out to GDOT eight months ago, GDOT responded saying they would look into it. He hasn’t heard from them since. Chief Jackson says he is afraid more fatalities could happen at the intersection.
“I’m really afraid because we have school busses, school busses come right here crossing this intersection coming in and out. I don’t want to come out here and we see a tractor-trailer and a school bus. I want to see if we can get the speed reduced or a get a light out here,” Jackson said.
Jackson says he is doing this for his community so everyone can stay safe. He advises everyone to look both ways more than once before crossing over the intersection.
‘The only thing I can say is to be careful, when you’re crossing this intersection make sure you look more than one time because coming off that hill you might not see them, but once they top that hill they can’t stop. Or once they come around that curb, you just have to be extra extra careful,” Jackson said.