Call for caution light grows after wreck kills 3 children

Jay Spicer can only wonder if a caution light would have made a difference. It is here at Alabama Highway 137 and Covington County Road 4 where three children died and one adult was critically injured in a two-car collision.

State troopers haven't wrapped up their investigation yet to determine who caused the accident.

"It always bothers me, especially when kids are involved. Their lives were cut short," said Spicer, Asst. Fire Chief for the Wing Volunteer Fire Department.

As for Spicer he says he made the request with the Alabama Department of Transportation for a caution light 25 years ago but was turned down.

Spicer says he was told the volume of traffic on  Hwy. 137 and County Road 4 didn't justify it.

"Well, they had a point but at the time we didn't have the traffic we have now," said Spicer.

Since then local firefighters have been counting. In the last 8 years they say there have been 7 accidents at this location, although not all were fatal.

"It's very busy during the spring and summer," said volunteer firefighter Derek Henley.

"You have beach traffic and it's wide open," Spicer says.

Spicer says he intends to file another request with DOT after first talking it over with his fellow firefighters.

State transportation leaders say deciding where to put a caution light isn't that simple. A traffic count study would take about a month, and if that study supports a light, Covington County would have to agree to bear half the cost of installing and maintaining it. Just putting up a blinking light would run around $30,000.

After this story aired on television, ALDOT spokesman Tony Harris contacted WSFA 12 News to say the department initiated a traffic study at the intersection earlier in the day. Harris says ALDOT put the intersection on review after learning of the collision from state troopers.

Wing volunteer firefighters concede that $30,000 is a lot of money, but believe it's a small price to pay. They fear it could happen again just like it did Tuesday night.

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