Drivers want change after deadly wreck on Hwy 67 in Decatur

The early morning crash involved several vehicles.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 9:32 AM
Updated: Jun 25, 2019 6:36 PM

Decatur police say an adult died in an early morning wreck on Tuesday.

Several vehicles were involved in the crash on Point Mallard Parkway near the Wheeler National Wildlife Visitors Center. It happened just after 7 AM.

Taken by WAAY 31 viewer, Amber Crow

The wreck affected traffic. The highway was down to one lane in each direction.

Police have not confirmed the victim’s identity. Alabama State Troopers also responded to the wreck.

WAAY 31 learned this is not the first serious crash on this particular stretch of road.

The highway is so dangerous, in fact, the federal government has been out to look at it.

WAAY 31 talked with drivers about the dangers of this road, and we learned why safety changes won't come easily.

“I was about half a mile from the bridge right here at the refuge center when it started to slow down. It took me at least 30 minutes to get to the bridge and another 15 to get here," Jennifer Morris said.

Morris was on her way to go fishing at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Tuesday morning when she drove up on a devastating crash.

“I heard a helicopter and one ambulance went by, and two or three police cars," she said. "It was like a wall of vehicles.”

And that wall of vehicles slowed down traffic for hours.

“I like to be really careful," Dave Young said. "I’m very careful when I drive in and out, and I suggest that to our visitors, too.”

Young is a park ranger at the refuge and travels Highway 67 every day to get to work.

He says he and his co-workers have noticed how busy and dangerous the highway is. They've even taken drastic steps to keep visitors safe when driving in.

“We’ve had the Federal Highway Administration out earlier this spring to do a safety study to look for ways and make recommendations as to how we can make 67 safer for visitors who are coming in to our visitor center," he said.

We don't yet know what the administration will recommend, but Jennifer Morris says she believes a median and turn lanes would help make the thoroughfare safer.

“You have to stop really quick because there isn’t any median," she said. "So, if someone goes to turn, you have to stop completely in the middle of a busy highway, which I think can be very dangerous at times.”

But changes could be problematic. In 2016, the state conducted its own study and said, because the highway is located inside the refuge, it can't be widened.

Until changes are made, Morris says she'll be driving extra carefully on Highway 67.

“Watch out for what others are doing," she said. "I will most definitely do that more now after seeing this today.”

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