Safety concerns after 4th deadly crash on Redwood Hwy in 2019

REDWOOD HIGHWAY, Ore. — Redwood Highway is one of the deadliest highways in the U.S. When searching for ‘deadliest highways in the U.S.’ it shows up more than once.

The highway has this ranking because many people speed and are driving distracted.

Nik Baker owns the Wonder Grocery Store located on Redwood Highway and sees this daily.

“I’ve actually seen cars passing a semi-truck and I was behind it thinking, ‘they have no clue what’s on the top of that hill’,” Baker said.

Baker isn’t the only one who sees this often. The highway is a commonplace for first responders too.

“Unfortunately we do see quite a few crashes and some of them end up being fatalities,” Chief Prince said.

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, there have been 125 crashed from the start of 2019 to June 7th. Four of those crashes were fatal with one being tied to a medical issue.

“The majority of the crashes have a lot to do with human error.” Chief Prince said. “There’s a lot of impatient driving, distracted driving, and intoxicated driving.”

Over the past 15 years, ODOT has put 55 million dollars into making the road safer for drivers.

“We’ve put in brand new pavement, brand new guard rails, brand new high reflective striping,” Gary Leaming, ODOT PIO, said. “We’ve put in turn lanes and passing lanes.”

Leaming says ODOT can only do so much. At the end of the day, it’s up to the drivers to follow the laws.

“It ain’t worth it,” Baker said.

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Blakely McHugh
Blakely McHugh is co-anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and spokesperson for In This Together, a suicide prevention initiative. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA. Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors. Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “hi!”
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