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Tag Archive | "15 Mile"

Should 15 Mile and Ritchie intersection be a four-way stop?


Meranda Baguss was killed at the intersection of 15 Mile and Ritchie in September when a pickup ran the stop sign. Photo from gofundme.com.

By Judy Reed

On September 15, 2017, a young Cedar Springs mother, Meranda Baguss, 31, was killed and her twin five-year-old boys critically injured when a pickup truck ran the stop sign at Ritchie and 15 Mile and slammed into her vehicle. Since then, and even before the crash, that intersection has been a topic of complaint among residents. One person related that she recently slowed down as she reached the intersection, and witnessed another pickup truck blow through the stop sign. She was glad she slowed down, especially with having her two young grandchildren in the car. After hearing this, the Post decided to contact the Kent County Road Commission to find out if the intersection qualified for some type of traffic control upgrade.

Maura Lamoreaux, spokesperson for the Kent County Road Commission, explained how the system works. “Although it seems logical that traffic control modifications would improve the safety of an intersection, it is not always the case. In some instances, the traffic control change serves to only alter the type of crashes that occur and can potentially increase the number or severity of accidents,” she explained. “Therefore, it is essential that KCRC investigates each accident thoroughly, works with law enforcement to determine causation, and follows federally-mandated warrants regarding modifications to traffic control.”

Lamoreaux said that after the accident that occurred at the 15 Mile Road and Ritchie Avenue intersection in September, KCRC conducted a crash site investigation, as is procedure for crashes involving serious injury or fatality. “This investigation included performing an updated traffic study for the intersection. The study included analysis of both traffic volume and crash history to determine if specific warrants were met to modify traffic control. These warrants are defined in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) published by the Federal Highway Administration and serve as the criteria that must be fulfilled for road agencies to implement a traffic control modification. Based on the warrant study conducted, neither volume levels nor crash numbers/patterns meet warrant criteria for a traffic control modification,” she said.

Lamoreaux said that the most recent traffic counts at this intersection indicate that the volumes are about a quarter of the required volumes.

“The accident warrant in the MUTCD states that a 4-way stop may be considered if there have been 5 or more correctable accidents in a 12-month period. Correctable accidents include right-angle, right-turn, and left-turn accidents. Over the last 5-¾ years (2012-September 2017) there have been 3 correctable (angle-type) crashes; this averages to less than 1 per year,” she explained. 

Lamoreaux added that there are currently “Stop Ahead” signs in each direction on Ritchie Avenue and intersection warning signs in both directions on 15 Mile Road.

The Kent County Road Commission will continue to monitor the intersection for changes that would warrant traffic control modification, she said.

 

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Newaygo woman dies in crash


N-Kent-County-Sheriff-logo

A Newaygo woman was killed last week when she failed to stop at a stop sign and was hit by another car.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 7:33 p.m. in Sparta Township. Deborah Dexter, 65, of the City of Newaygo, was driving a 2005 Jeep Cherokee east on 15 Mile, just west of Fruit Ridge, when she failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection and was struck by a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado that was traveling south on Fruit Ridge.

Dexter was pronounced dead at the scene. A toddler in the Jeep, Arabella Milligan, age 2, of Kent City, suffered facial lacerations and was transported to Spectrum Butterworth by Rockford Ambulance.

The driver of the Silverado, Andrew Duffy, 22, of Sparta Township, had facial lacerations, but was not transported to the hospital.

Assisting at the scene was the Sparta Fire Department, Kent City Fire Department, Rockford Ambulance, and Michigan State Police.

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Woman killed in Courtland crash


A woman was killed in this crash in Courtland Township Wednesday. Post photo by M. Ford.

A crash at the intersection of 15 Mile and Myers Lake Avenue in Courtland Township Wednesday left one person dead and knocked out power to the immediate area.

The accident happened about 5:15 p.m. November 16. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a black pickup driven by Cody McKendry, 20, of Belmont, was traveling west on 15 Mile when he ran the stop sign and slammed into the driver’s side of a Mercury Sable heading south on Myers Lake. The cars reportedly rolled and hit a utility pole, bringing wires down on the truck. Emergency workers removed them and freed the driver, who told police he was unfamiliar with the area.

The driver of the car, Lori Wier, 50, of Solon Township, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Courtland Township Fire and Rescue, Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue, and Rockford Ambulance assisted at the scene.

Police said alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

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What warrants a four-way stop?


This crash at 15 Mile and Shaner last week involved 11 people, with one airlifted to the hospital with a head injury. The eastbound car stopped at the stop sign on 15 Mile and then pulled out in front of the Durango that was heading north on Shaner.

By Judy Reed

A serious accident at the intersection of 15 Mile and Shaner Avenue last week in Courtland Township have neighbors wondering what it will take to get a four-way stop put in.
“Does someone have to die?” asked Sharon Parker, a neighbor who was at the scene of last week’s crash, and helped lift the SUV off of a teen pinned underneath the tire.
Several people have complained to the Post that it is hard to see at the intersection if you are traveling on 15 Mile. But does that warrant a four-way stop?
According to data on the Kent County Road Commission website, traffic volume in the area has grown little over the last several years, and sees about 2,000 cars in a 24-hour period. That’s two-way traffic, so could be 1,000 cars going then coming home. Traffic counts have actually dropped on 15 Mile through that area, between 2005 and 2008, and increased only slightly on Shaner.
Tim Haagsma, P.E., Director of Traffic and Safety at the Kent County Road Commission, said that they have to follow a manual put out by the federal government called the Public Manual of Safety Control Devices, when gauging whether an intersection warrants a four-way stop. “We look at both traffic volumes and crash rates,” he explained, “and they have less than one-third of the number of crashes needed.” He went on to say that according to their data, there were three crashes reported at that intersection between 2005 and 2010, and what would warrant a four-way stop would be five crashes in a 12-month period.
“That intersection is not near the rate where we’d say a problem occurs,” noted Haagsma.
He said that following federal guidelines helps eliminate a proliferation of four-way stops where they could do more harm than good. Haagsma noted that while a four-way stop would reduce right-angle crashes, it would lead to more rear-end crashes. “We always have to look at the trade-off,” he said.
But Parker would like to see the guidelines changed, and she is asking concerned residents to call Senator Mark Jansen’s office at 517-373-0797. “Maybe if enough people call we can get it changed,” she said.
Parker also had a request for all the neighbors that go through there. “Slow down! It could be your child next time.”

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Man critically injured in accident


 

AeroMed was called to the scene of a two-car accident in Courtland Township Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Ron Parker.

A two-car accident in Courtland Township Tuesday afternoon left one man with critical injuries and several others with minor scrapes and lacerations. The accident happened about 4 p.m. at 15 Mile and Shaner Avenue.

 

At least one teen was critically injured when he was ejected from this SUV Tuesday afternoon. Post photo by J. Reed.

According to police, a witness told them that a red Chevrolet Malibu was at the stop sign in the eastbound lane of 15 Mile at Shaner, when it pulled out in front of a white Dodge Durango traveling north on Shaner. There is no stop sign on Shaner, and the two vehicles crashed in the intersection. The Durango left the roadway and overturned in a yard north of the crash. A teen male sitting in the rear of the Durango was ejected and landed underneath the tire of the SUV in a yard just north of the intersection. The victim, Matthew John Slabbekoorn, 17, of Algoma Township, was airlifted from the scene by AeroMed with a head injury.

There were seven passengers in the Durango. The driver, Benjamin Creed Sullivan, 19, of Courtland Township, was treated for minor injuries at the scene. Brooklynn Jenette Hommerson, 17, of Sparta, was transported to Butterworth by Rockford Ambulance with minor injuries. The other passengers were treated for minor injuries at the scene and declined to be transported to the hospital.

There were four passengers in the Malibu. The driver, Terese Clement, 42, of Courtland Township, and three children, Jack Clement, 6, John Clement, 1, and Greg Clement, 1, suffered minor injuries and were all transported to the hospital by ambulance.

Assisting at the scene was the Kent County Sheriff Department, Cedar Springs Police, Sand Lake Police, Courtland Township Fire, Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue, Rockford Ambulance, and AeroMed.

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