KHQ investigates problem intersection where Medical Lake student - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ investigates problem intersection where Medical Lake student died

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MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. -

The Medical Lake community is mourning after one high school student died on Saturday. Her three friends who were also in the car are recovering.

It happened at the intersection of Highway 2 near Espanola and Wood Road in Spokane County. Washington State Patrol says the girls drove through a stop sign and were t-boned by a truck.

A neighbor who lives near the intersection says it's a bad one, after he says he’s witnessed too many close calls and crashes.

We wanted to dig deeper into the intersection to see if it has been a problem. Chip Mcbride lives near the intersection and says the stop sign on Wood Road seems to be the biggest problem that drivers run into. He says he’s seen at least two or three crashes happen a year at the intersection.

“It's just a bad, bad intersection. Any time you approach that intersection, there's so much speed coming left and right, east and west. It's hard to make a calculated decision of when to pull out there," said Mcbride.

Mcbride has lived in the area for 20 years. He actually has a clear vantage point from his home to the intersection and heard the fatal crash on Saturday. He's seen his fair share of accidents.

In fact, according to Washington State Department of Transportation statistics, in the last five years on the stretch from Highway 2 from Espanola to I-90, there have been 21 serious or fatal injuries. That includes one in 2015 that put six people in the hospital.

Mcbride says the problem with the intersection, seems to be with people traveling from Wood Road. "The biggest problem is speed on Wood Road. That's a 45 mile an hour speed limit and everybody is going 50, 60. It's an easy stop sign to blow. Not just they'll blow through it, but they'll pull out of traffic from a dead stop and traffic is moving at 70 miles an hour and lots of breaks and lots of horns," he said.

There have been safety improvements made there before. Back in August of 2014, two left turn lanes were added to address rear-end collisions. "Helped tremendously but it still doesn't do anything for the lack of making people stop," said Mcbride.

He's hoping somehow, there will be an improvement.

McBride says he'd love to have more law enforcement out in the area. There is a way to make that happen. Washington State Patrol troopers say they'll set up special safety enforcement based on the number of residents' complaints.

There is a candlelight vigil planned on Wednesday for the Medical Lake students involved in the crash following a home track meet at Medical Lake High School. It starts at 6:30 p.m.

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