Highway 7 strikes cords in concerned residents after another fatal accident

Lafayette County residents are growing concerned about a specific highway.

Posted: Nov. 13, 2017 4:24 PM
Updated: Nov. 13, 2017 7:14 PM

LAFAYETTE COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - Highway 7 is a pipeline roadway connecting Lafayette County to Yalobusha and Calhoun counties. 

However, after another fatal accident occurred during the weekend, marking the third since September within two-mile stretch, residents are questioning when and if the proposed expansion of the roadway is in the future. 

If you search Highway 7 in Lafayette County online, you'll find articles dating back to 2005 showing the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been planning to expand the two-lane roadway to a four-lane. 

Businesses have been closed and demolished with plans to expand as early as 2018. However, almost 13 years later, MDOT says the project is not on the list.

Whitney Clark lives off of Highway 7 and says on September 22, her daughter was stopped, with her blinker on, waiting for a break in the traffic to turn into her neighborhood when she was struck by another vehicle going more than 55 miles per hour.

"Scariest day of my life, by far. Cars are speeding through there so fast and there's a hill there and the visibility is minial so it can get kind of tricky sometimes. But when it's alot of traffic and people aren't paying attention, like they don't anymore, it's dangerous," Clark said. 

Lafayette County Coroner, Rocky Kennedy says just this pass weekend, when he was on his way to the fatal scene, not one single car on either side of Highway 7 pulled over or acknowledged his blue lights or siren. 

"There needs to be a turn lane or the road needs to be widened. But it doesn't fix the problem that we've been losing people on Highway 7," Kennedy said adding that there are a vast number of distracted drivers on the roads. 

"I mean there have been multiple fatalities on that stretch of highway, not just since September but in the last 20 years." 

People in the area say they plan to call their state representatives and have told their friends and family members to contact the commisioner regarding funding and plans to expand this roadway in order to make it safer for the community. 

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