White City, Ore.– Tragedy Monday night in White City. At the crossroads of Highway 140 and Lakeview Drive, Oregon State Police say driver, 29-year-old Jordan Bailey was attempting to turn left onto Lakeview when she was rear ended by a Ford F250 pickup.
Three children were inside the vehicle with Bailey. One of them, a 7-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene. Bailey and the two other children, a 2 and 14-year-old were sent to Rogue River Medical Center for treatment.
The driver of the truck, 23-year-old Devyn Baldovino, was uninjured in the crash.
One day later, residents near the scene said they were horrified to hear of yet another accident.
“We’ve only been here about a year and a half and every two to three months, there’s a major accident at this intersection,” said Lyn France, a local resident.
France lives on one side of Lakeview Drive. She says she and her husband are always careful when getting off and on the highway.
“It’s dangerous just trying to make a right-hand turn even though you can get over onto the side,” said France. “It’s paved, you can get over. It’s dangerous just trying to turn right, let alone trying to go left.”
Aurel Toma, who owns an auto-body shop on Lakeview Drive, has been on the same property for 20 years. He remembers when there was maybe one accident a year there. Now he says it’s happening frequently.
The intersection of Highway 140 and Lakeview Drive is just a quarter-mile down the road from the intersection at Kershaw Road. Three people have died in crashes in that location within the last year.
“Since subdivision all grow up in White City,” said Toma. “It’s every week almost. Accidents. They have to look on that one too.”
Toma says the highway has hardly changed since he’s lived there, with little to no adjustment made to accommodate for the increase of neighborhoods around the road. He thinks the highway should be redone and evolve with a growing population in the area.
OSP said that the roads aren’t necessarily the problem, rather – it’s human error.
“I wouldn’t call it unsafe roads. I would say that people are not paying attention,” said Jeff Proulx, OSP. “They’re being distracted to what ever reason, whether he was on his cellphone, he was looking somewhere else in the car.”
But residents seem to be in agreement, the road needs some sort of fix. Whether that’s adding turn lanes or a stoplight, they hope solutions can be made quickly before someone else loses their life.
“After last night it proves it is an extremely dangerous place and it needs to be looked into immediately,” said France.
Police are still investigating and are looking into whether distracted driving was a factor in the accident.
NBC-5 spoke with a relative of the family who says the mother and two children are OK and in recovery.
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