Deadly Lafourche Parish highway claims another life

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wwltv.com

Posted on November 20, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 20 at 7:21 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

LAFOURCHE, La. - You can still see tire marks leading into a ditch along LA 3235 in south Lafourche. They mark the spot where Glennon Quinley, 38, lost his life in a crash late Tuesday night.

Quinley rear ended a Ford Explorer, which had slowed to make a right turn onto a side street, said state police. Quinley wasn’t wearing a seat belt and died at the scene.

Neighbors say it's the latest in a series of fatal crashes on the 14-mile stretch of LA 3235.

Quinley is one of eight people who have died on this highway in the last year, said Lafourche Parish Councilman Jerry LaFont, of District 8.

“We're tired of giving up our children, tired of giving up our moms and dads, tired of giving up our community,” said LaFont.

Noe Saucillo knows what it's like to lose someone on this highway. His mother, Olga Saucillo, was killed in a crash last year.

She was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by another car while making a left turn from LA 3235 into a Walmart parking lot. She was just 42 years old.

“It's been rough. Really rough. I try to get through it,” said Saucillo.

The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office has responded to nearly 150 calls for service for accidents along the highway so far this year, including two school bus crashes within a month. There were 128 calls for service in 2012.

“Almost on a daily basis you hear of some accident on this road,” LaFont said.

Residents say Hwy. 3235 is busier - and more dangerous - than ever before. A new bridge diverts traffic from other highways, and there's a steady stream of traffic related to fishing and oil industries.

“This is the busiest intersection in probably Lafourche Parish,” said LaFont.

In fact, there is only one red light on the entire highway. And for most of La. 3235, the speed limit is 65 miles per hour.

LaFont said that has to change.

“Lower speed limit, signals at the intersections, and more patrols giving out tickets,” said LaFont.

DOTD just kicked off a year-long safety study of the highway. For now, it plans to install over-sized stop signs, advanced warning signs with flashing beacons, and rumble strips on both sides of the roadway.

Once the safety study is complete, it will decide if more steps need to be taken to make sure the highway is safe.

 

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