GSP increases troopers near Hwy 19 intersection - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

GSP increases troopers near Hwy 19 intersection

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BACONTON, GA (WALB) -

If you travel Highway 19 near the Dougherty Mitchell county Line, you've probably noticed more Georgia State Patrol Troopers on the road lately.

They're cracking down on excessive speeders and trying to put an end to crashes, especially at one intersection.

We were there as this Georgia State Patrol Trooper pulled over several cars on Highway 19, Wednesday.

Corporal Andrew McKenzie says beginning last week, more troopers were stationed in the area after complaints kept coming in from nearby residents about speeders.

"Those individuals (speeders) cause crashes and crashes cause death and fatalities. We want our roads and highways in this state to be safe as possible," said Cpl. McKenzie.

One area of concentration is this intersection in Baconton near Lester Road.

Troopers and neighbors say it's a hot spot for accidents, thanks to speeders.

We showed you video of this crash last week involving a school bus near that intersection.

Driver Jason Watkins tells us he had a close call recently.

"I had the green light, I slowed down and a red pickup truck with someone on the cell phone blew right past me. I was like wow. If I would have kept going, I would have gotten t-bone," said Watkins.

Watkins adds this intersection is so dangerous that drivers that are trying to get across it usually wait several seconds after their light turns green to avoid being hit by a driver who may not be paying attention.

"I've literally watched truckers, big trucks, blow its horn because it knew it wasn't going to stop as if that makes it ok. He blew right through the red light and I'm thinking wow, if somebody were to pull out, you're toast," said Watkins.

What scares Watkins the most is his teenage daughter who crosses this intersection everyday to take his other two children to school.

"It could be somebody I know, and if it's my children I would be devastated," said Watkins.

Now troopers want to make sure that doesn't happen and excessive speeding won't be taken lightly.

"When they are caught they will be dealt with accordingly," said Cpl. McKenzie.

Watkins commends the State Patrol for putting more troopers on the highway.

The current speed limit at that intersection is 65 miles per hour, he would like to see that reduced.

Troopers say they will continue those extra patrols as long as they're needed.

 

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