Letter: Willmar intersection needs lights
On Nov. 10, my husband was on Highway 71 South and was hit by a car traveling on 26th Avenue Northeast. She crossed two lanes on Highway 71, ran a yield sign and hit our van broadside and pushed it into the ditch. Both vehicles were totaled. The other driver was ticketed for failure to yield. My husband has a left rib injury that is taking weeks to heal.
We are very grateful for the two witnesses that were kind enough to give the State Patrol information they needed, and to everyone else that helped.
When the new Law Enforcement Center and Human Services buildings were built, I was hoping to see traffic lights installed because of increased traffic and the 55 mph speed limit.
It has been brought to my attention that high school students use 26th Avenue Northeast as a shortcut to Highway 71, and that it's crazy when the high school gets out. A friend that works at Human Services says she waits until the high school traffic goes by before leaving work.
At the hospital, the state trooper told us the driver of the other car was a high school student on her way to the college to meet a teacher and she said she didn't see my husband's vehicle.
I have a question for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. How many injuries and deaths have to occur there before it can be a controlled intersection with traffic lights? Of the last four accidents at that intersection, the three before my husband's required people being airlifted. There has also been death there.
In a sense, we feel lucky. My husband's injuries were minor compared to what others have suffered. We would like to see the yield sign replaced with a stop sign and hopefully traffic lights in the near future.
I don't want other families to get the phone call from the hospital. It was a traumatic experience for our family. I pray that the next accident there isn't your loved one.