MADISON COUNTY, Ind. — Three teenagers are in the hospital after a Monday morning crash at what neighbors say is a dangerous intersection.
A spokesperson for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said the three teens were crossing State Road 13 from County Road 800 in Madison County when they pulled out in front a truck heading southbound.
The 17-year-old driver and 14-year-old front seat passenger were air lifted to local hospitals, both are in critical condition. The 14-year-old passenger in the back seat is at the hospital in good condition.
Neighbors we talked to who live near the intersection said it has been a problem for years and something needs to be done before another crash happens.
Carrie Ashley, whose house backs up to CR 800, saw the aftermath of the crash Monday morning.
”I just started praying, because I was hoping it wasn’t one of our high school kids, which it turns out to be three of our high school kids,” Ashley said.
Ashley and another neighbor who lives nearby, Erick Dongus, said crashes at the intersection are an all too common occurrence.
“There are multiple accidents per month here,” Dongus said.
Dongus said he’s been working to make this intersection safer since 2018, but hasn’t had any luck.
”It’s a matter of time before someone dies at this intersection,” he said.
Both said the community has grown and continues to grow exponentially, but the roads have fallen behind.
”Maybe they are in the process of getting developed but that’s not good enough. You have people that live out here who are terrified,” said Ashley.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is worried as well, Major Joey Colle said they’ve seen an increase in crashes there for the last seven years. He said several of them have been serious and they would love a traffic light at the intersection.
INDOT spokesperson Mallory Duncan said there are plans to put one there. She said in 2023 a stoplight will be added and left turn lanes on State Road 13.
”This intersection has been on our radar for awhile because of increased growth in that area,” Duncan said.
Ashley and Dongus said something needs to be done sooner, like a temporary light or extra manpower.
”Even just to have an officer out here directing traffic in the mornings,” said Ashley.
She said without any added safety precautions she’s worried about her family driving at this intersection.
”We don’t want to be that one who gets the phone call that it was our relative that was in the middle of the intersection,” Ashley said.
Duncan said the plan to add the stoplight at the intersection of CR 800 and SR 13 in 2023 cannot be expedited because these plans are made years out and it’s already in the budget for 2023.