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Duncan man wants to make intersection safer

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DUNCAN Okla_ A dangerous intersection just east of the Lawton-Duncan "Y", at Plainsman and Alexander Road has claimed the lives of two people in a little over two months. Now, the father of one of the victims is speaking out in hopes that  something can be done to make the intersection safer for drivers making that abrupt, sharp turn.

Daron Duncan said the area of concern is out in the county, but not a minute goes by that a car isn't flying around that curve. The spot we're talking about is about 2 miles of east of Hwy 7 and 81, and just north of Camelback Road.

Daron said he's not the only one in the area concerned about that particular curve in the road.

"Everybody cuts through here going from Marlow to Duncan, and if it's foggy or dark, there's no way to know that there's a stop right here. It's really a 90 degree turn. I'm friends with a lot of people at the police and sheriff's department and they say they're out here all the time."

Daron Duncan's son's life ended here in this ditch back in October.  Just 56 days later, another life was taken by the curve.

"Not long ago, we put a cross up for when he died up here," Duncan said. "The girl that just went through here knocked it down into the ditch also."

The majority of these accidents are happening from about 10 PM to 10 AM. When drivers coming from Marlow are cresting that hill, they only have a short distance to prepare for that turn. In some cases, they miss it completely. They continue straight, crashing through a makeshift barrier and winding up in the ditch. The ditch is filled with mangled road signs and car parts.

Steve Crowe's yard backs up to the dangerous intersection. He said he's seen 7 cars piled in the ditch at once during the icy season. He said since he moved here in '98, he's pulled well over 30 people out of cars that missed the turn.

"You hope you can save those," Crowe said. "You hope that they do something to prevent it so they don't have to."

Families just like the Duncans are wondering how many fatalities it will take to prompt the city to enforce safety precautions.

"We react to dangerous intersections after fatalities," Crowe said. "We don't react to them when we start seeing a trend. They've put a bar three miles down the road. Do you think that's not going to contribute to this?"

Crowe said over the years the number and severity of the wrecks has grown.

"When you first start out, they were just nosed over in there. Now, we're pulling bodies out."

Both Duncan and Crowe have their ideas about what needs to be done. Whether the answer is filling in the ditch, creating a barrier or putting up an illuminated sign, they're not sure.  Once the new county commissioner is sworn in after the beginning of the year, they plan on contacting him to get the ball rolling on this.  

 

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