• December 25, 2014

Fatal crashes drive cities to improve intersection

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Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:16 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS - Three government entities are working to help prevent accidents at an intersection where two people died in separate incidents less than five months apart in 2008.

With action from the Harker Heights City Council Tuesday, the city is joining Killeen and the Texas Department of Transportation in an effort to make motorists more aware of a culvert on the south side of the Roy Reynolds Drive and Veterans Memorial Boulevard intersection.

The council selected TTG Utilities to construct several warning measures north of the intersection at a cost of about $18,000.

"What TxDOT did about a year and half ago, it, at the request of the city, looked for something to prevent accidents at that intersection for folks coming from the north," said Ken Roberts, TxDOT's Waco District's spokesman.

There have been several accidents there in past years, Roberts said.

Two people were killed at the intersection between August and December 2008.

On Aug. 5, 2008, a Fort Hood soldier, Angelo Shane Allen, died in a single-car accident at the intersection, an archived Killeen Daily Herald article stated. His vehicle was heading south on Roy Reynolds Drive when it entered the intersection and ended up in a culvert. After colliding with a pipe, the vehicle flipped, causing it to land upside down.

A Eastern Hills Middle School teacher, Karnakristine M. Counter, 62, also died after a single-vehicle accident in the intersection on Dec. 18, 2008, a Herald article stated. Her vehicle also left the roadway and landed upside down in the culvert.

In order to prevent further accidents, Killeen re-striped the south side of Roy Reynolds at the intersection, which is in the city's jurisdiction, Killeen Assistant City Engineer George Lueck said.

TxDOT added some reflective chevrons to indicate the roadway swerves at the intersection and warn motorists the culvert is there, Roberts said.

A guardrail would be useful in that location, but it would be TxDOT's decision to install one there, Public Works Director Mark Hyde said.

Harker Heights' portion of the warning measures will be placed on the north side of the intersection, Hyde said. They include more signs, which are already installed; re-striping the lanes; rumble strips before the intersection; and improvements to better designate the right-turn lane onto Veterans Memorial Boulevard.

Contact Mason W. Canales at mcanales@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.

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