On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm, posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012.
Traffic safety adjustments are often made following a sustained increase in vehicle volume or a pattern of serious accidents in one location. A councilwoman, who has been pushing for a traffic light at a busy Colorado Springs intersection, is frustrated by rigid state rules for high-risk intersections.
The latest car accident at the crossroads was a fatality that police suspect was caused by a drunk driver. The 54-year-old crash victim was a passenger in a Honda that was turning left from Colorado 83 to Northgate Boulevard. The car was struck on the passenger’s side.
Neither driver in the crash suffered serious injuries. The Colorado Springs passenger died after being taken to a nearby hospital.
Colorado state troopers don’t think speeding was involved in the fatality but are investigating suspicions of possible drunk or drugged driving. The Honda driver, a 48-year-old woman, could face DUI and vehicular homicide charges.
A Colorado Springs councilwoman has been battling with local and state transportation officials to have a traffic signal installed where the fatality took place. She described the road as a “race track” close to two high schools.
The Colorado Department of Transportation won’t designate the intersection as high-risk unless three serious accidents are recorded there within one year. Other bad accidents have occurred at the Northgate Boulevard intersection but not enough of them within the prescribed one-year period.
CDOT officials are also hesitant to approve a traffic light at the disputed crossing because road construction could be causing temporary high volume.
State police may determine that a drunk driver was responsible for the recent fatality without speculating on whether a traffic light could have prevented it.
A wrongful death suit may be filed by the accident victim’s family that places blame on the driver. The civil action could also name officials who were aware of the dangerous intersection but neglected to rectify the situation by installing a traffic light.
Source: ourcoloradonews.com, “Woman dies in crash on Northgate,” Lisa Collacott and Norma Engelberg, Sept. 8, 2012