One year after a couple was killed in a fatal motorcycle crash in Greene County, the Ohio Department of Transportation says improvements are coming to the intersection where the crash happened.
Sherill Cruea, 25, and her boyfriend Brook Fudge, 23, died when their motorcycle collided with a car at U.S. 42 and Spring Valley-Paintersville Road on October 22, 2017. Family members have said they consider the intersection dangerous.
Friends and family held a vigil Monday night to mark the one-year anniversary of the crash.
“We want people to be aware of this intersection and just how dangerous it is,” said Tonie Cruea, Sherill Cruea’s mother.
According to Sgt. Rod Murphy of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, troopers are not unfamiliar with the intersection.
“We’ve handled quite a few accidents in that area,” Sgt. Murphy said.
Sgt. Murphy said he’s optimistic about changes planned for the intersection by the Ohio Department of Transportation. ODOT has already installed flashing lights and signs, and eventually, the intersection will become what’s known as a “restricted crossing U-turn,” according to Brian Cunningham, ODOT District 8 spokesperson.
A median will be added in the middle of U.S. 42, so all turns must be right turns, Cunningham said. If you need to make a left turn or go straight across Spring Valley-Paintersville Road, you’ll continue down U.S. 42 to a new U-Turn lane, he explained.
“If you’re making a left turn, you got to be aware of oncoming traffic,” Sgt. Murphy said. “So if they’re not allowed to do that, it should prevent some of those fail-to-yield crashes that we handle in that area.”
Construction on the $1-2 million dollar project is expected to start in late 2020, Cunningham said.
After creating petitions asking for change, family members we spoke with said they hope the improvements save lives.
“We didn’t just lose my brother and Sherill here,” said Heather Talty, Brook Fudge’s sister. “We’ve lost a friend at this same intersection…Just to prevent another family from going through what we’ve been through, it helps us a little bit. It fills a little bit of the void that we feel.”
Family members had originally asked for a traditional traffic light at the intersection. ODOT considered that option, Cunningham said, but officials feared that could cause more crashes due to the high volume of traffic on U.S. 42.