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Highway 69 claims multiple lives
PORT ARTHUR-By: Leslie Rangel
Funeral arrangements are pending for 10-year-old Tyvone Washington, who was killed trying to cross Highway 69 near Central Mall in Port Arthur.
Police say, it's third fatal auto-pedestrian accident in that area this year.
You might be familiar with this stretch of Highway 69 in Port Arthur, where the speed limit is clearly marked.
"It doesn't slow down, it's quite hectic," Major Raymond Clark of the Port Arthur Police Department says.
It's one contributing factor in the death of Tyvone Washington as he tried to run across the highway.
"There were 6 or seven kids that were crossing and from what I understand they were going to Wal-Mart or McDonald's and they were just going to cross after coming from the mall," Major Clark says.
It might seem easy, but the orange markings show where the boy took his last breath.
"They don't see you until you cross and jump that barricade and then your there and it's just impossible to stop for it," Clark said.
If a car is traveling at about 75 miles per hour down a busy highway, it's going to decelerate at about 36 yards per second, meaning it will take about 4 seconds, the length of a football field and half to come to a complete stop.
"That reaction time is just not going to be enough to make up for that person in front of you," Clark said.
In fact, this year alone three people have died trying to run across these lanes.
"It is a big problem for us now because when you cross it it's so dangerous," Clark says.
Port Arthur Police want something done about it.
"To ask TxDot to construct a fence to keep them from crossing," Clark said.
It's no guarantee, but Major Clark is hopeful it will make people think twice about risking their lives.
Representatives from TxDot tell us, after every accident the agency investigates roadway conditions to see if they might be a factor.
From when it is proposed, it could take months to find the money and build a safety fence.