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South Fulton neighbors petition for traffic light at deadly intersection

On Tuesday, an elderly couple was killed at the intersection of Jonesboro Rd (Hwy 138) and Bethsaida Rd.
Neighbors want changes to deadly intersection in South Fulton
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 6:17 PM EDT
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SOUTH FULTON, Ga. (CBS46) - Neighbors in South Fulton want immediate safety changes to a “dangerous” intersection that took two lives earlier this week.

On Tuesday, an elderly couple was killed at the intersection of Jonesboro Road (Highway138) and Bethsaida Road. The crash happened as the couple was attempting to make a left turn onto Bethsaida, and failed to yield to oncoming traffic, according to a police report.

“I started to come out and look, but I just couldn’t because I’ve been through so many of those incidents,” said Evelyn Dawson, who lives within eyesight of the intersection.

Dawson and her husband have lived at their home on Bradford Way for going on 20 years. She said she is constantly on guard, having lost her peace over the years, due to the number of crashes she’s witnessed at the intersection.

“When I hear the rescue squad, I get in this panic mode,” Dawson said. “It’s very hard to live like that, knowing that things are consistently happening.”

On Wednesday, law enforcement in the area conducted an enforcement detail that resulted in 20 citations ranging from speeding to seatbelt violations. Neighbors want more.

Torean Hargrow is among dozens of residents who have signed a petition calling on the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to install a traffic light at the intersection. They believe it would slow down traffic and lessen the number of crashes along the stretch of road. They also would like to see better lighting in the area.

“It’s a dangerous intersection,” Hargrow said. “We need help. We need GDOT to understand. If we don’t stand up for ourselves, nobody else will.”

CBS46 took neighbors’ concerns to GDOT. We learned the agency conducted a study of the intersection in 2019 that led to signage and visibility improvements. At the time of the study, Jonesboro Rd and Bethsaida Rd did not meet the necessary requirements for a stop light, according to a spokesperson.

However, the spokesperson said a traffic signal, multilane roundabout, and continuous green T-intersection are currently under evaluation as part of the outcome of the study. He added that the agency will “evaluate the crash report from Tuesday and update the safety study with an updated crash history.”

“I know everything can’t be stopped, but somethings can be prevented,” Dawson said.

“Anything is better than nothing,” Hargrow added.

CBS46 submitted open records requests to find out how troublesome and deadly the intersection is, and we will stay on top of the issue.