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Protest planned at intersection where fatal accident occurred

Parents of students at Bennett's Mill Middle School and Cleveland Elementary in Fayetteville will gather tomorrow (Aug. 20) from 3:30-4 p.m. to protest the intersection at Georgia Hwy. 54 and Huiet Road, where 21-year-old Amy Layton had a fatal accident last Friday. 
 
Jenny Humbard is organizing the protest and asking all concerned citizens to take a stand for safety. Their goal is to force the Georgia DOT to fix the intersection immediately or close it to traffic until the light can be installed.

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secret squirrel's picture

Perhaps the time spent protesting would be better spent teaching younger drivers not to pull out into oncoming traffic. Just a suggestion.

One other thing: look at the intersections with the most accidents. Most of them- certainly the top few- have traffic lights. Putting up another gridlock-inducing light is not a panacea for accidents.

Secret Squirrel, Harp Road and Highway 85. One of the more dangerous intersections in the county and no traffic light. Traffic from three school along with all the school buses. And this is were they want phase 3 of the west bypass to start.

I mean wow! Did you seriously just say that? Considering people that knew and loved this girl are constantly watching the topics on here for any new news? You damn well know that there were plenty of factors involved with the accident that take the greater portion of the cause. If you can't even see the car, how are you supposed to avoid it until it's too late? Especially right there. It's a bad section of road without all the damn barrels in the way. You can't see anything pulling off Huiet until they are about 100ft. away and the road levels out. Doing 55mph (ha) through there and 100ft. goes by pretty freaking quick. All in all that was a rude comment knowing that driver error was solely not blame. A percentage? Yes. A small one. But I guess you can only do so much when you have everything else working against you.

as owner of affordable golfcart i have 2 things to say are prayers are with amy and her family second we have to use that intersection 20 to 30 times a day this is the second fatal accident and the 4th in 10 year because of the hill going west bound it is hard to see on coming traffic. people coming off of huiet try to go half way and block the intersection. it makes it hard to see on comeing trafic.this should have been fixed when they put the schools and the neighborhoods in some 8 years ago. people coming off of huiet that need to go west bound, should go east and use the turn around 200 yards down to go west. it would also help trafic backing up on huiet.
also the lights are way out of sink from publics in peachtree city to the light at auto zone and now they added another light at ebenizer rd. i have complained to the county and the state about this section of road. also the intersection at tyrone rd has a bad reck twice a month because the trafic lights do not work

Maybe someone read your post. FYI, the GDOT had a truck and 2 workers at the signal at the corner of Hwy 54 and Robinson Rd. in PTC at about 10:45 this morning adjusting the timing of the lights.

I have been living off from Lester Road for over 8 years. The intersection is an accident waiting to happen. Fayetteville only looks for itself within its tiny town. Why did we need a traffic light at a cemetary. The light in front of the hospital was paid for by the hospital because there weren't enough deaths there for the county to put one up. The speed limit should also be reduced in this area to 45 mph. Why is it taking a few more months to have the traffic light poles made. This project has been in the works for years. It doesn't take that long to make them, look how fast they went up at Ebeneezer Road. Poor politics. Since there is so much school traffic at this intersection, the change is correct but the opening of school shouldn't take precedence over safety.

Shame on you secret squirel for blaming the driver. Clearly you have no clue what you are talking about.

This intersection at Huiet and 54 has been a disaster for years and has been made worse since the unwanted bypass. Clearly the county planning commission is a group of the most inept traffic engineers in the region. We have been asking for years for a light at this intersection, even well before the bypass work started, only to be told no because of the power sub-station. Nevermind many drivers use this particular stretch as there personal Autobahn without regard for anyone else.

The re-making of the intersection added more confusion, and was very poorly engineered. How is it this supposed well researched and planned project doesn't include traffic lights before the intersection was opened? Thats like going out in public and forgetting to get dressed. Just mind boggling dumb!

The contractor is at fault as well. The amount of barrels acted as as obstruction, not to mention the excavator placed in the eastbound lane of 54 to tear up old huiet. Doesnt anyone else find it odd that all the barrels were gone by Monday afternoon and this tragedy occured on Friday afternoon?

And I would like to give a special shout out to the Fayette County deputy who likes to sit in the intersection and supposed to direct traffic, but rather sit in the car talking on the phone or stand with the workers cuttin it up. Nice work Fayette county, all around.

The safest way to get onto 54 is to avoid that intersection totally and take Lester Road to Old Norton. That leads to the stoplight near the hospital. That is the way the school buses have to go to. The week before school started I tried the Huiet/bypass intersection. It as very scary. I came home and told my family that it was an accident waiting to happen. I have not gone that way since, even though I frequently have to go to Bennett's Mill. I always use Old Norton now, and it only adds a couple of minutes to my trip.

This is off-topic as to the safety of the intersection, but I drove through the Huiet Rd./Lester Rd. intersection twice on the day that they were pouring the curbs for the Bypass intersection and I was amazed that our public funds were paying for work done by workers who were very obviously not legal. I work for a government contractor and we cannot ever risk using nondocumented laborers, but there is no way the curb crew working that day were documented workers.

If you did not check the documents of these individuals how do you know if they were illegal? Skin tone is your only answer to that. Mr. Ignoramus that is a racist way of looking at people.
Yet you are not alone in this world. Scary

This tragic event happened in a very dangerous traffic area. The county just couldn't wait to open up this intersection to show off the West Bypass area to the public. Let's just hope the three surviving commissioners come to their senses and don't forge ahead with Phase II of the West Bypass. Can you imagine the grave danger of trying to funnel traffic away from Fayetteville into two lanes to nowhere?

If enough people complain to the commissioners about the whole idiotic bypass concept in this area, maybe somebody will finally listen before others are hurt or killed.

Sooner or later, the remaining three will have to address the issue.

Monday of last week I was talking to someone who lives in that area who had just driven through that intersection and he was telling me what a mess it was. He said "someone is going to get killed there", and four days later it happened.
I hope the people responsible for this can't sleep at night.

ahavah_lachaim's picture

There is a time to blame an accident on driver error, and this is not it. My mother and I drove through this intersection just after it opened(coming down 54) and she had trouble getting through. She is no rookie driver.

I'm glad someone is stepping up to protest a horribly planned, and even more poorly executed DOT project. A light is really the only solution to the mess there now. And yes, it would slow down traffic on 54 between Tyrone Road and the hospital but, as someone referenced earlier, with drivers using that stretch as "their personal Autobahn," perhaps that's not an entirely bad idea.

If something isn't done, I would bet that the next accident at the intersection is some poor old couple going to their doctor's visits at the hospital.

secret squirrel's picture

[quote=ahavah_lachaim]There is a time to blame an accident on driver error, and this is not it. My mother and I drove through this intersection just after it opened(coming down 54) and she had trouble getting through. She is no rookie driver.
[/quote]

I blamed no one. My point is that efforts towards educating drivers are likely to produce better results than some driver-distracting protest on the side of the road at an already problematic location. If that intersection is too meshugga for you, take the back road around to Old Norton and use that light.

And congrats to konadog for finding the exception to the rule. The intersection with the highest accident rate is 54/74 in PTC. And it's got more lights and traffic control devices than you can count. The point, not to be lost amongst the trees here, is that there is no panacea for car accidents other than not driving. They will happen no matter what solution you believe will solve them. Don't be foolish to think that adding a light here will mitigate accidents. Will it decrease them? Perhaps- if it's done correctly. Will it add to gridlock? Never met a traffic light yet which didn't. Especially along 54/74 and I've been riding those roads since they were two-lane (i.e. over 30 years). Will traffic lights prevent accidents? No.

They should probably cut it back to 3:30 to 3:55 if they stay out there a full half-hour somebody might get heat stroke.

Cyclist's picture

Other than the traffic cones and the obvious realignment what's the difference between this intersection and other non-control intersections in the county?

I've been through this intersection with all the traffic cones and did not have a problem with visibility with east-bound traffic. I would suspect that thousands of other have as well and have done so without accident.

This accident is tragic and sad for family and friends so again my sympathies to all.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

I agree, Cy. While I am so sorry for the loss of life at this intersection and my heart and sympathies go out to the family, I've been through the intersection several times this week and that intersection is no more dangerous than many others in the county. Heck, statistics show the Hwy 54/74 intersection is number one in the county as far as accidents. This planned protest is just plain stupid. I suspect alot of it is residual anti-WFB sentiment. And sadly, the unfortunate loss of life is giving some folks license to carry on with that sentiment and that is the true shame.

Cyclist's picture

That could be and honestly I'm not a fan of the WFB.

You know there is this one odd thingy about the intersection and that is the "stop" sign for traffic making a left onto Huiet Road from SR54 west-bound. Typically, it's either not signed or there is a "yield" sign but a not a "stop" sign. I do hope that drivers are not tripped up by that and think of it as a "4" way stop and then make a turn thinking those east-bound have to stop

Of course, I am still confused about those yield signs on some right-hand turn pockets. There's no consistency on where they're placed.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Going through the intersection this week is completely different than going through it last week. Seeing as how everything was changed immediately after the accident. The DOT is not 100 percent at fault. In the end it was Amy's fault but that still doesn't mean that she wasn't having to deal with the obstacles there from which were obstructing her view. She was in an old MR2. They sit VERY low to the ground. They are very small cars. It's not like she was in an Explorer sitting 5 feet off the ground.

Cyclist's picture

litigated in civil court. Perhaps there will be enough money to hire an accident investigation team. But they don't come cheap.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

You know thats coming. The ambulance chasers are drooling

Channel 2 news just had a short segment about this intersection. The police were in the background directing traffic and a woman pulls out of Hueit Road talking on the cell phone. That's part of the problem on any road, people talking on the cell phone while driving. I don't care what anyone says, your driving skills rapidly diminish while talking on the cell phone. Most of the time whenever you see an erratic driver, sure enough, when you pull alongside, they are on the cell phone. Why do you have to be so important? Get a life, save a life, get off the phone.

I concur with the people saying the intersection was opened too soon. There was no reason to rush to open it.

This looks like the county commission tried to speed things up to justify starting phase two of the bypass. The young woman died because someone thought it was a good idea to open a high capacity intersection before the traffic signal arrived. Not very intelligent at all.

How horrible is this? Fayette's county commissioners pushed through a road that is not supported by the citizens apparently because they were fearful that it would be stopped. Clearly this was ill conceived and poorly executed, in short a horrific mess. Shame on you people who put profits above the will of the people, who put the desire of a few to build empires above the safey of our community. And to make matters worse, they started the construction the week school opened, a time when traffic was certain to be at its peak. Shameful.

Just Asking

I am in total support of this protest today. This is and always was a dangerous intersection, but the barrels and the bypass opening before a light was put up made it even more dangerous. I refuse to use the bypass until a light is put up. Even then I may not use it at all. My prayers go out to the Layton family.

Just what person or group of people are you protesting against?

Thay intersection won't hear a word you say!

Go to the home or office of those who offended you and protest.

All these useless and ill-planned protests reminds me another group.

The news story was a joke. If it's so called "safe" the county won't even let the school buses turn left until the light is there. Why did they not have the light there before opening it? Oh and someone died , lets try to clean it up and post Police there. I heard a rumor , there would be no light until Jan. now they say 60 days hmmm... I think it's a little too late.

This was not the first death there, I have always hated that intersection.

As for the lady on the cell during the news, my goodness! Please get off the phone.

I hope the protest works. I also hope that there were pictures of the road before the accident for the Layton family to see what a mess it was.

Thank you to the Layton family for your children's service, and once again I'm so sorry for your loss.

idk_revisited's picture

...always a good way to start providing information.

The protest will bring MUCH NEEDED attention to the need for CONSUMER SAFETY in the intersection.....many people have died at that intersection! Don't bother looking for the Commissioner to do the right thing. "The task to govern is dependant upon the INTEGRITY of the one governing."

idk_revisited's picture

Consumer Safety? Is Clark Howard coming out to protest? Neat-o!

"many people have died" - well, not many, maybe four or five at the most...but the light will be coming (it was already planned and the masts were being manufactured).

ginga1414's picture

Today's protest has attracted the attention of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, ABC, CBS, and NBC. Members of the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalition will also attend.

Members of the WFBC have been voicing safety concerns along the WFB route for many years. However, our concerns have fallen on our current commissioners' deaf ears. Commissioners Elect Steve Brown and Allen McCarty have been greatly opposed to the WFB from the beginning.

Tragically, Army Reservist Amy Layton lost her life at the Huiet Rd/Hwy. 54/West Fayetteville Bypass intersection last Friday.

All Fayette County Citizens are welcomed to join this protest and help right some very great wrongs in our county. The protesters have obtained a permit from the Sheriff's Dept. If you would like to help in this effort, everyone should gather on the North side (Hospital Side) of Hwy. 54 at the intersection of West Fayetteville Bypass Phase I/Hwy. 54/ Huiet Rd. at 2:45 - 3:00 p.m. The protest will start at 3:30 and last until 4:00 p.m.

What will it take, Fayette County? Are we willing to wait until a loaded school bus is hit at this intersection?

idk_revisited's picture

ABC = WSB, the local affiliate (if it bleeds, it leads)
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution = owned by the same people who own WSB, with often the exact same stories
CBS = WGCL, the local affiliate (Dagmar's leaving? Now who will tell me it's raining, a GUY?)
NBC = WXIA, the local affiliate (they want to help you, ya know)

Huh...where was the local FOX affiliate? Too busy covering real stories.

What will it take, Fayette County? How about a bunch of people just avoiding a "dangerous" intersection until it's fixed!

ANY DRIVING IS DRIVE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I have lived in Heritage Farm subdivision for close to 30 years and each year I have seen the traffic get worse and worse. Now that the all knowing politico's in Fayette County have seen to try and fix what was not broken this intersection is a nightmare. To try and turn right is dangerous but to try and make a left hand turn is suicide. To make these changes and not to put a light in is at best criminal. Where were their brains??? Oh I know they were in their pockets being fed with all the money that they would get. That poor girl did not deserve to die and it had nothing to do with looking because the barrels impaired everything. This idiocy needs to cease and the politicos need to understand that the people do NOT want this.

Voxlady

You don't really think they will CLOSE this intersection back to what it was, do you? I doubt the traffic out of Huiet will justify a traffic light.

By the way if one can't see for barrels, then don't go!
I know something new and unusual excites some people to hurry and get out of it.

Have you traveled much through the 54/74 intersection at high tide?

idk_revisited's picture

Too late, the dirt's been turned. At least we're getting a light. Remember when we could cut across Old Chapel to get to 54 - now those were the days...when Lester was a dirt road, the spillway was a place we could play before anyone even though about a Play Park or YMCA, and we wondered if they were going to put the hospital at the corner of Tyrone Road....I miss the old days, but we can't change it. So, accept change, grumble and move on, or just move.

I am a paralegal for attorney Katherine L. McArthur in Macon, Georgia. We have been asked by the family of Amy Layton to investigate this collision. I am asking if anyone who witnessed this collision, or who has any information with regard to this intersection, to please call me, or attorney Michael Wilensky, at 478.238.6600 or email us at kjoyner@mcarthurlawfirm.com or mwilensky@mcarthurlawfirm.com. Your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.

And we have family looking to get some free money. How tacky. You could have waited at least 2 weeks.

Did it ever occur to you that this family's main, possibly only reason for hiring an attorney, if this attorney has even been retained by the family, is to prevent this from happening to someone else and their family by putting heat on the DOT, the county & the contractors involved to close this intersection until its safe??? No, that wouldn't possibly occur to you would it???

And how can you even call any settlement they might receive free money??? It most definitely will not be free because the cost was the life of their daughter. But you are so sure they are after money... You are complete moron!

I doubt it occurred to anyone that it is only a law suit to change the road!

where did you see the words "law suit"? All I've seen is "investigation"---which I also think our SHP and/or Sheriff's Dept would also do/have done.

The law has already said no charges were filed! It is dead.

What suing law firm will investigate the county for such things? Sue, yes for money---never just investigate.

Want to make a bet?

NUK_1's picture

Don't really see an out of town law firm suing the DOT, County and whoever else simply for the "good of the public" here. No money in that.

http://mcarthurlawfirm.com/

Gym is always yapping about opinions and doesn't research anything.

One of those I agree with you, sweet talkers, I'm for you, until the end; then Say, I didn't know that! I'm really sorry!

Buy an ad in this paper to drum up ambulance chasing?

Joyner, Mcarthur, and Wilensky, huh?

Want to defend the other driver also?

You might want to check out the 54/74 intersection in PTC for crashes, injuries, deaths, and ulcers going through it also! Want the names of the Mayor then, etc.

The county built a huge intersection that took over a year and half to build and they couldn't wait another 2 months to the traffic signal to be delivered, something is bad wrong.

The whole West Fayetteville Bypass deal stinks. As if Commissioner Horgan didn't have enough problems already.

The county commissioners need to explain to everyone why they thought it was a good idea to open that huge intersection with traffic flying down Highway 54 without a traffic signal.

Can't wait for Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell's terms to end in December!

Fayetteville Bypass is a stupid idea, it even blocks several subdivisions and several homes around. very poorly planned. The intersection is very dangerous with no proper sinage.The workers and one cop managing traffic in the morning and evening are not doing a very good job, Residents be careful and cautious and save your life's.

No construction zone signs around there, people drive very fast on hwy 54 crusing by, improper placement of barricades with out any sinage, how are people supposed to understand.

Please please be careful.

idk_revisited's picture

Really, what does ROAD WORK AHEAD in orange mean to you? Cause it's been out there for months now, every day I drive by it. One right on my neighborhood road when they started working on the intersection by Lester.

Hey - people drive very fast on 54 - speed limit is 55, not whatever you think is safe. If people followed the rules...oh, who am I kidding?

And where, exactly, did you get your traffic engineering degree from?

Who are you people? Do you just make this stuff up to make yourselves more important?

ginga1414's picture

If my child were killed at that intersection, under the same circumstances, I would want the accident investigated by someone not connected to Fayette County.

I was one of the protesters today. It was very clear to see how that accident could have happened. However, having said that, I must also say that the intersection had been cleaned-up from what it was last Friday when Amy Layton tried to navigate the obstacle course that was in place. She tried to come through that intersection at the same time the school buses were rolling out of Huiet Rd. today.

Today there was no road equipment. Today there were people directing traffic. That was not the case last Friday.

Plain and simple, if a light had been in place, the accident probably wouldn't have happened. Folks have been asking for a light there for many years. People along the West Fayetteville Bypass have been expressing their safety concerns regarding schools, young drivers, and school buses to our commissioners for many years. Our concerns have fallen on the deaf ears of our current commissioners.

Knowing Fayette County officials the way I know them, I would certainly want my child's fatal accident investigated by someone other than Fayette County officials. The controversy surrounding this intersection and the West Fayetteville Bypass should have a spot light placed upon it.

I feel so sorry for Amy Layton's family and loved ones. Even more so, I am very upset that a wonderful young woman who wore a uniform for our country will not be able to have her dreams come true. It breaks my heart that she lost her life because the powers that be would not listen.

idk_revisited's picture

....hey, I've got a great idea. I know a place where you can have your accidents investigated by the State Patrol and the Georgia Department of Transportation!

Oh, you mean it's here? You mean they did that, cause it's a state road? Say it ain't so!

ginga1414's picture

idk, of course the State Patrol and DOT investigated Amy Layton's accident. However, do you think that any governmental agency would ever admit to being negligent and especially when a death is involved?

Since you seem to love playing the devil's advocate, why do you suppose the intersection was opened before a traffic light was in place? If there is an alternate, safe route, WHY open the less safe route when they could have waited a couple of months for the traffic light?

My father was a traffic engineer. In fact, his title was Chief Traffic Engineer. I can guarantee you without a shadow of a doubt he would never have opened that intersection to traffic without a light. However, he was from the old school. He believed that if a person is in the position of "responsibility" he is compelled to take "responsibility" for his actions.

According to an "Official Statement" published on the Fayette County Government website from the "Office Of The Board Of County Commissioners," signed by Phil Mallon, Public Works Director. "County staff and the Project Engineer believe the capacity and safety characteristics of the improved intersection are comparable to, or better than, the conditions in place prior to the start of the of the construction activities." It goes on to say, "Since Highway 54 is a State Roadway, any decisions made regarding a temporary change of operation at the intersection must be coordinated and have the approval of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Although evaluation is proceeding as rapidly as possible, it may take several days to fully assess the options, obtain state approvals and implement any approved changes. Until a decision is made, the intersection will remain open in its current configuration." "Issued: August 20, 2010, Contact: Phil Mallon, Public Works Director, Office: (770) 320-6010.

It seems to me that the above statement is saying the Fayette County Commissioners, Fayette County Public Works, the Project Engineer and the Georgia Department of Transportation are the ones in the position of responsibility for the "safety characteristics" of the intersection.

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