Dangerous intersection under review in Miami County

A car crashed into a pole in the 2900 block of Peterson Road in Miami County.
A car crashed into a pole in the 2900 block of Peterson Road in Miami County.

STAUNTON TWP., Miami County – Two serious accidents within just over two weeks at an intersection near Troy has sparked questioning about what can be done to improve safety.

Around 3,000 vehicles a day pass through the intersection of Troy-Sidney and Peterson Road that has stop signs controlling traffic from Peterson Road, Miami County Engineer Paul Huelskamp told the county commissioners.

His staff already was reviewing the intersection following an Aug. 3 afternoon collision when a dump truck traveling on Peterson Road struck a SUV in the intersection, Huelskamp said.

An 11-year-old boy in the SUV died after the dump truck driver ran the stop sign, Miami County Sheriff’s deputies said.

Another collision occurred just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, when a car traveling on Peterson Road ran the stop sign and struck a pickup truck in the intersection, deputies said.

Six people were taken to Upper Valley Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital via emergency squads and CareFlight.

Charges have not been filed in either accident, sheriff’s Chief Deputy Steve Lord said Thursday, Aug. 20. Investigators are waiting for toxicology reports from the Aug. 3 collision, he said.

Huelskamp told commissioners an employee in his office who handles safety reviews accident reports on highways under the county engineer’s jurisdiction. The review by Sam Philpot, an engineering technician, includes the crash report and often times a review of the accident site.

The goal is to “make sure that the traffic control devices in place follow the manual of uniform traffic control devices and everything is set up the way it is supposed to be according to state law,” Huelskamp said.

The intersection review showed it meets the standards required under the manual and there are no defects in the road or the way traffic devices are installed.

“We didn’t really have time to react to the first accident, and then we had the second,” Huelskamp said.

He is considering possible changes to enhance safety but was not ready to discuss specifics. He noted that the intersection would not meet requirements for addition of a traffic signal or a sign with flashing lights around it.

“We are still looking at enhancements we can make … and help people to better recognize they need to stop at the intersection,” Huelskamp said. People run stop signs either by stopping and then pulling out or “blowing through the intersection,” he said, adding, “both of these accidents were people blew into the intersection and didn’t even attempt to stop until it was too late.”

The changes he is considering could be done unilaterally and made within 30 days, Huelskamp said.

The commissioners thanked Huelskamp for his report.

“We look forward to seeing what enhancements you may be doing out there,” said Commissioner Ted Mercer.