Clinton County Sheriff's Office wants to fix dangerous intersection

Tall stalks of corn lining a sharp bend obscure traffic at the intersection of Clinton County roads 700 North and 300 East.

Posted: Aug 17, 2021 4:28 PM

CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — The Clinton County Sheriff's Office is concerned about a dangerous intersection on a busy county road, and officials are urging caution among drivers amid a series of tragic car crashes.

"In this county at the intersection of 700 North and 300 East, it's a unique intersection that poses a serious line of sight issue," says Clinton County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Pelling.

Tall stalks of corn lining the sharp bend obscure oncoming traffic. Based on his measurements, Pelling says it's an accident waiting to happen.

"From my study, most of the time, there's going to be a vehicle accident at that intersection," he says.

Pelling is asking county commissioners for a four-way stop sign. It's one of many intersections along County Road 700 North, a popular shortcut to Lafayette and some of the city's largest employers.

Drivers treat it more like a highway and use it as a makeshift detour around nearby road construction. That means a lot more traffic -- and the potential for crashes.

"With the number of fatality crashes we've had this year, I've been trying to look ahead at: Where is traffic going to be going with this construction and are there issues that we can maybe make the road a little bit safer?" Pelling says.

One person died and five were seriously injured in two crashes on this stretch of road in less than two months.

As News 18 previously reported, Clinton County saw at least five serious and often deadly car crashes in that same time span.

"Is there more traffic out this year? Absolutely," says Sheriff Rich Kelly. "Is there an expectation that there's going to be more crashes throughout the State of Indiana, Clinton County and the United States itself? I'm going to guess there is."

Kelly is adding more patrols near the dangerous intersection. But Pelling says deputies can only do so much.

"We can patrol places as much as we possibly can but it still comes down to: People have got to obey the speed limit, obey the traffic signs, put the phone down," he says.

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