Residents in Climax react after recent crash on Highway 84

Residents in Climax react after recent crash on Highway 84

CLIMAX, GA (WALB) - The community reacts to the death of a mother and daughter who lost their lives on Highway 84 in Climax.

Residents speak out about a stretch of Highway 84, which they said the scene of numerous crashes, including Wednesday's double fatality.

The Climax Police Chief says a 5-year-old girl is now without her mother and older sister after Wednesday's crash.

Some residents want the Department of Transportation to re-evaluate that area.

Wednesday's deadly crash has left the community stunned.

"It's just a tragedy, I can't describe how bad it makes us feel,” said Larry Dean, resident.

"There is a lot of remorse, when you have local people who have an accident like this, especially when younger people are killed in an accident, everybody feels a lot of remorse," said John Priscilla, Climax Police Chief.

Residents said the stretch of Highway 84 in Climax has presented problems before.

They said it's become worse since May when the Department of Transportation increased the speed limit from 55 to 65 miles per hour.

"The citizens in our community to not like our speed limit changed. They did not want the speed limit to increase. We have 8 roads that intersect with US-84 in a mile,” said Priscilla.

Department of Transportation officials said the speed increase is justified.

"There were pretty high operating speeds on that road anyway so that's why they went ahead and raised the speed limit. What they are telling me is that when you raise the speed limit to the speed people are comfortable going they're not going to go much higher," Nita Birmingham, Department of Transportation.

It is believed that speed wasn't a factor in Wednesday's crash. Authorities say the driver, 35 year-old Heather Barlow did not yield.

Troopers said Barlow's car was crossing U-S 84 on Bert Phillipes Road when it was hit by a tractor trailer. Barlow and her 10 year-old daughter were killed. A 5 year-old girl was also airlifted to a Tallahassee hospital.

"We had a couple of vehicle accidents there, the intersection is not a good intersection to be wanting to come into, there are a couple of blind spots, early in the morning the sunlight is very hard if you are traveling eastbound ,” said Priscilla.

Because of the city concerns, the DOT has already extended the lane lines through the crossover median to give oncoming traffic a better vantage point.

But some say more work needs to be done.

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