BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon-Upshur community is in an uproar in the wake of yet another Another wreck stirs community, Mayor takes action wreck on Wednesday. The two-vehicle accident occurred at the Childers Run intersection shortly before 5 p.m. A white Ford Focus driven by David Richardson was attempting to cross the four-lane, when he said he accidentally pulled out in front of a black Ford Focus that was traveling westbound on Route 33 and the vehicles collided. Richardson and his passenger, Lucas Unger, both said they stopped in the middle of the crossing, but did not see the other vehicle approaching. The driver of the black Focus was transported from the scene by Upshur County EMS with unknown injuries and her name or condition was not yet available as of press time.
This year alone, two other tragic accidents with fatalities have occurred within that same vicinity of the highway. One of those deadly crashes happened just three days prior on Sunday. The severity and frequency of wrecks in that area have prompted local officials to take action.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor David McCauley informed those in attendance of his latest request with the West Virginia Department of Transportation. McCauley said he contacted the WVDOT with urgency to commence a traffic study along portions of U.S. Route 33 in Upshur County with regards to the numerous accidents occurring on the stretch of the corridor spanning from approximately the Fink Run Road exit and continuing on to the Kesling Mill Road crossing.
Mayor McCauley previously sent a letter to Cabinet Secretary Byrd White following the fatal accident involving Matt Hymes and Sara Downes, which occurred at the Childers Run Road junction of Route 33 in April. He stated, “On Monday morning I retransmitted my earlier sent letter to state representatives.” This transmission was spurred due to yet another accident on June 16 that claimed the life of Kendra Neal.
The Mayor said he received correspondence from WVDOH District Seven Engineer Brian Cooper, who reported the matter had been referred for action weeks ago following the state’s receipt of the letter. A consulting group has been retained by the state to investigate this problematic stretch of Route 33 that has claimed so many lives. In the months to come, McCauley expects to receive the WVDOH full report from the state’s consultants. Cooper indicated in his correspondence that there would be a public hearing to review the report and recommendations. McCauley offered up the city’s Community and Training Room as the venue for the public hearing.
Mayor McCauley added, “In the meantime, I implore all of our residents to navigate this stretch of Route 33 as carefully as possible. Please operate your vehicles in the prescribed speed limits and heed the stop lights and stop signs and look carefully both ways before pulling out from the crossing points.”