An intersection in Rock Island that has seen 51 accidents and four deaths over the past 15 years is under review by TDOT.
A traffic study is currently taking place at the intersection of Sparta Highway and Rock Island Road to determine if a flashing traffic signal would help reduce accidents. The intersection is heavily traveled and serves as the main entrance to Rock Island State Park which has over 600,000 annual visitors.
Rock Island Constable Jason Dodson has pushed for a flashing light there for years, but his efforts have been short on results. A double fatality at that intersection on Jan. 11 has served to provide new momentum for a flashing light there.
"I think it would help create greater awareness of the intersection," said Dodson. "I don't know if it will help, but it certainly wouldn't hurt."
There is already a flashing light on Sparta Highway closer to McMinnville at its intersection with Highway 30 heading to Spencer. Dodson points out very few accidents occur at that intersection.
According to 911 records that date back to 2002, there have been 51 accidents at Rock Island Road and Sparta Highway. The majority of those accidents, 28 of them, have only involved property damage to vehicles.
Of the remaining crashes, 19 have involved injury and four have been fatal.
TDOT has not provided a timeline about when the traffic study might be complete.
By the numbers
Total accidents: 51 since June 14, 2002
Number of deaths: 4
Total accidents with injury: 19