Locals worry about notorious intersection after senior citizen’s death in crash

CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) — A 65-year-old Winston county man is dead after being involved in a three-car crash Sunday night in Cullman.

Donnie Ray Hardiman was killed after authorities say he ran the red light at the intersection of Highway 278 and County Road 747 at around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.  State Troopers say Hardiman’s car collided with two other vehicles, and another person was taken to the hospital with injuries.

Berlin volunteer firefighter Larry Smith says three fatal accidents happened at the intersection in years past. Accidents decreased 12 years ago when a traffic light was installed, but Smith says crashes continue to happen.

“If they would slow down coming to the intersection and pay attention then we wouldn’t have as many accidents down there,” Smith said. “A lot of folks won’t obey the speed limit down through here, we’ve got more traffic and 18 wheelers. This is a busy road.”

Cullman County resident Justin Parker says the intersection is scary and more needs to be done to make it safer.  Parker owns an antique store just feet from where the fatal crash happened.

“You can hear the tires squeaking and stopping, and taking off,” Parker said. “Lots of times the cars are going pretty fast because it’s 65 mph both ways, and 45 at the bottom of the hill in the intersection so you hear a lot and I am concerned.”

The volunteer fire department says they respond to at least a half-dozen accidents here every year.

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