Victims, official react to crash near elementary school intersection in need of stoplight

POSTED: 4:53 PM Sep 20 2013
ONSLOW COUNTY -

After taking his granddaughter to school Friday morning, Raymond Schultz got hit in more ways than one -- by another car and with a ticket for the fender bender.

"Failure to yield the right of way...I don't think it would have happened had we had a traffic light there," Schultz said.

The crash happened in Holly Ridge off Highway 210 in front of the Dixon Elementary School entrance, a place notorious for traffic congestion. Schultz says cars were backed up in a turn lane, so he couldn't see oncoming traffic. Now, he's not the only one begging for that traffic light.

"I think it's frustrating for parents and the drivers along the road, and also for the school itself," said Steve Myers, assistant superintendent for auxiliary and information systems for Onslow County Schools.

Last week, the school's principal took the issue into her own hands by directing traffic herself. But Myers says officials won't let her do that anymore because it's a liability.

"The school system is working with local law enforcement agencies, and we're trying to come up with another solution that can help us during the short term until a stoplight is put up in that intersection," Myers said.

A representative from the Department of Transportation told NewsChannel 12 last week that it could be around springtime when we see crews beginning to install the stoplight, if funding is approved. An official says the DOT has submitted a proposal to the Board of Transportation for funding to be considered for this project. This proposal is expected to be reviewed in the board's November meeting.

Local law enforcement say they simply don't have the manpower to provide an officer every day. Officials say they're working to find someone qualified and with the time to direct traffic every morning and afternoon in the meantime.

"It's normally pretty busy every morning right there," said Kyle Scott, the other victim in this morning's wreck.

His car saw a little more damage than Schultz's.

"It doesn't look bad, but there's quite a bit of damage to the front end, windshield's cracked, need a new hood, new bumper," Scott said.

Both of them hope others can learn from this, and push the DOT to install a stoplight.

"It happened, and I'd like to see a light there for safety for the school and the kids more than anything," Schultz said.