Effort underway to reduce speed on stretch of highway in Bush after bad crash

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 9 at 8:40 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

BUSH, La. - A recent four-vehicle crash that injured a family of five has spawned an effort to slow down traffic on a mile-and-a-half stretch of Highway 21.

Surveillance video of the wreck from July 13 shows, just as a truck is turning left, an 18-wheeler on the right slams into two waiting vehicles, spinning one into the other and pushing a third forward. The first vehicle to get hit was carrying the five-member Willis family from Bogalusa. All of them went to the hospital, but two children were hurt the most. A 1-year-old boy got out of the hospital last week; a 2-year-old boy had another surgery this week.

Family members say news of the crash was scary, but where it happened, between the Fifth Ward Junior High School and the intersection of Highway 21 and 40, was not surprising.

Family member Amanda Williams said, “It poses dangers to anyone coming or leaving the school, it poses dangers to anyone pulling in or out of the stores or restaurants."

"It's affectionately known as the Bush Autobahn,” said St. Tammany Fire District #9 Chief Scott Brewer, “It is the fastest area you can drive after a long curvy stretch so people tend to open it up and drive really fast and unsafe."

"We've had over 200 accidents in this stretch in the last six to seven years,” he said, “I personally worked at least six fatality accidents."

Because of the dangers on the road, there are now efforts to try to reduce the speed limit from 55 mph, to 45 mph. Last week, the parish council approved sending that request to the state Department of Transportation.

Parish Councilman Richard Tanner said, “It’s just very obvious that that area is congested, and as I rode through it a while ago, 18-wheelers were pushing me and I was going 55."

A benefit to help the family with medical costs is being held on Saturday, August 31. It’s a two-mile obstacle course and Fun Run at the home of the Terrell’s, located at 84066 Sam Talley Rd off of Highway 16 in Sun. Call 985-730-5050 or email info@hlbrownstone.com.

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