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State representative taking on Highway 53 and its history of crashes

Published: Sep. 24, 2019 at 11:06 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Highway 53 has a history of crashes, and on Saturday it got worse.

Two people died at the intersection of Pulaski Pike and the highway, and District 6 state Rep. Andy Whitt said he’s tired of seeing fatalities on the road.

“I have buried friends. I have buried my childrens’ friends. I’ve buried coworkers families...and I’m tired of burying, going to funerals, because of the results of highway 53," he said.

Whitt said it’s an issue that goes back decades, and he’s been gather ALDOT data, prior media reports and other concerns about the road.

He said ALDOT statistics reflect 5.57 crashes a week between Pulaksi and Nick Fitcheard road with 4 deaths from January 2016 to December 2018.

He said he wants to widen the road to four lanes up to the Tennessee border, but he has yet to secure ALDOT approval and funding.

Anne Hargrove has lived at the intersection of Pulaski Pike and 53 for half a century, and said she was outside for the latest fatal crash.

“We’ve seen I don’t know how many people killed right here. They run the stop sign and that’s what causes all of them," she said.

"We need something with more protection, either a red light out here, or something that warns people there is a stop sign out here."

Take a trip down the highway to the Old Railroad Bed Road intersection, and the story is the same.

Tavis White owns the vet clinic at the intersection, and he said the road is putting his people and pups at risk.

"We've had vehicles come through our parking lot, come close to the building. Literally upside down, you've heard the expression and on fire, we had vehicle by our building and upside down."

The Metropolitan Planning Organization oversees road planning in the metro area.

It is not currently working on any expansion of Highway 53.

ALDOT has not yet returned a request for comment.

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