OPEN LET­TER TO GOV. PHIL BRYANT

Starkville Daily News - - FORUM -

I am writ­ing you to voice an ex­treme con­cern that has both­ered me for a long time. I have lived in Clay County, MS, since 1946. I have prac­ticed medicine in West Point, MS, since 1981. On April 23, 2018, at ap­prox­i­mately 5:00 pm, my son, Dr. Phillip Aron Hooker, Jr., and my daugh­ter, Shel­ley Grace Hooker-Hem­phill, were in­volved in a se­vere au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent at the in­ter­sec­tion of High­way 45 Al­ter­nate South and Tibbee Road in Clay County. My son's au­to­mo­bile was to­taled. After nu­mer­ous X-rays in Colum­bus, MS, hos­pi­tal, we learned that my daugh­ter had no bro­ken bones or in­ter­nal in­juries. The lady driver of the other car, I be­lieve, also es­caped with­out se­ri­ous in­jury. We are blessed with the out­come, but this could have eas­ily re­sulted in 3 fa­tal­i­ties.

This in­ter­sec­tion is well­known to the lo­cal in­hab­i­tants to be se­ri­ously dan­ger­ous. Re­sult­ing in fre­quent ma­jor ac­ci­dents. I con­sider it to be one of the poor­est de­signs and most dan­ger­ous in­ter­sec­tions in Mis­sis­sippi, if not in the United States. My daugh­ter lives in the area and has noted fre­quent ac­ci­dents. Only a few weeks ago, she ob­served a car burn­ing that has been in­volved in an ac­ci­dent at this in­ter­sec­tion. The young high­way pa­trol­man who in­ves­ti­gated this ac­ci­dent told me that they were un­able to pa­trol the area as needed be­cause of a short­age of man power. I ad­vised him that driv­ers speed through the in­ter­sec­tion at 80 mph. He told me that the driv­ers he tick­ets fre­quently have speeds of 90 mph. It has been ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for me to nav­i­gate that in­ter­sec­tion be­cause of the speed­ing and de­sign of the in­ter­sec­tion. For years, there were road signs des­ig­nat­ing a re­duc­tion in speed to 45 mph. But even with those signs, I con­stantly ob­served driv­ers go­ing through the in­ter­sec­tion at over 70 mph. For some rea­son, the 45 mph signs were re­moved last year. I be­lieve this is one of the rea­sons the young high­way pa­trol­man clocks driv­ers now at 90 mph.

I urge you to con­sider my let­ter se­ri­ously and im­me­di­ately cor­rect the prob­lem. The young high­way pa­trol­man in­formed me that when he gets a call about an ac­ci­dent in Clay County, it al­most al­ways in­volves High­way 45 Al­ter­nate South and Tibbee Road.

Please do not wait un­til some­one in your fam­ily or my fam­ily dies as a re­sult of our ne­glect.

Thank you very much for your time and con­sid­er­a­tion .

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