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Dangerous Clarkdale crossing upgraded

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
July 18, 2001
The four-laning of Highway 45 has created many benefits for those who travel to and from Clarke County but it has also created a dangerous intersection near the Clarkdale community where old Highway 45, now Highway 145, crosses Highway 45.
Since the new road opened in August 1999, there have been 26 accidents at the intersection with 34 injuries and two deaths.
On Wednesday, the Mississippi Department of Transportation announced that rumble stripes and flashing red lights have been installed at the intersection. Rep. Eric Robinson, R-Quitman, has lobbied for the changes for several years.
The cause
Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp said many motorists ignore the traffic signals.
Transportation officials hope the changes will reduce the number of accidents.
It's personal
Two accident statistics have special meaning for Robinson, who represents Clarke County and parts of Lauderdale County in the Mississippi House of Representatives.
His niece, Kim Reeves, suffered serious injuries when her car, traveling north on Highway 45, collided with a car crossing the intersection. Her 2-year-old child, Alex, died from injuries sustained in that accident.
Robinson and his staff have made the intersection a priority. Robinson would also like to see state workers to level a large hill on the Clarkdale side that blocks the view of Highway 145.
Brown agreed that might be a good idea, but did not commit to any immediate action.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3217, or e-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.