Neighbors want traffic signal at Huntsville intersection after deadly wreck involving police officer

A deadly wreck happened at the intersection over the weekend.

Posted: Jun 24, 2019 5:38 PM
Updated: Jun 24, 2019 7:53 PM

On Monday, WAAY 31 learned more about a deadly crash that involved a Madison police officer.

Huntsville police said he has a long road ahead, including multiple surgeries, before he can return to work.

The crash happened Saturday at Wall Triana Highway and McCrary Road. Phyllis Pine, 92, was a passenger in the other vehicle in the crash. She died at the hospital following the wreck.

Huntsville police are working to find out how many accidents have happened in that area. Herman Todd, a neighbor, said he saw wrecks three days in a row last week before this weekend's deadly crash.

"There are wrecks galore every week now," Todd said.

Todd said he bought his house nearly the intersection about five years ago, and it's become even busier and dangerous during that time.

"Traffic is really heavy, and it's gotten worse the last few years," he said.

Todd said he was inside his home Saturday when he heard the wreck happen.

"I saw the vehicles from the window, and the one in the field here looked really bad," he said.

Todd explained he doesn't know what led up to that wreck that killed a 92-year-old woman, but he hopes it serves as a reminder to other drivers to slow down and obey traffic laws.

"It's hard to get to people and tell them how to drive. They are going to do what they want to do," he said.

He thinks people take McCrary because there are no traffic lights, and it's a faster way to get to Wall Triana than 72.

"It seems to be a shortcut now for people who are working on the Arsenal, and I think there are more people coming this direction," he said.

Now, he hopes the City of Huntsville looks at installing a traffic light to stop anyone else from losing their life.

"We need a traffic light out here. I think that would help the situation immensely," he said.

The City of Huntsville told WAAY 31 Monday afternoon that an analysis was done on the intersection, per public request, last year. It was to determine if a traffic signal was warranted. Traffic Engineering analyzed the area and looked and reviewed accident information. The city says it was determined a signal was not warranted at the time.

Traffic Engineering said it's aware of potential southbound intersection improvements discussed by Madison County.

Huntsville police haven't released the name of the Madison officer who was injured. They also haven't said who was at fault. We do know they're working to review dash cam video.

The City of Madison released the following statement Monday afternoon regarding the wreck:

After the recent officer involved accident on Wall Triana and McCrary Road, The City of Madison expresses condolences to the family of Ms. Phyllis Pine.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Ms. Pine and send our regards to her grieving family. Our public servants can assure citizens that road safety remains a primary focus in the Madison community," says Mayor Paul Finley.

The accident investigation is currently being lead by the Huntsville Police Department. Madison Police Chief, David Jernigan comments, "HPD has full support from our agency throughout this matter, and we will continue to cooperate on every level for a thorough investigation."

The officer involved in the wreck is currently recovering at Huntsville Hospital from surgery related to the injuries sustained in the accident.

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