Residents critical of safety set up at site of fatal streetcar crash speak to city council

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SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- On Wednesday night, South Salt Lake residents had a chance to tell the city, "I told you so," regarding a railroad crossing where a deadly street car crash took place earlier this month.

"The danger of the situation on Fourth East was really predictable from the drawing board," Resident Linda Adams said. "My son commented, 'I hope we don't have to come back here and say I told you so.'"

The deadly crash was personal for Adams. She lives in the neighborhood and knew one of the victims, Jessalyin Heaton.

Jessalyn and her boyfriend Raymond Benally were killed when they somehow missed the stop sign and were broadsided by the Sugar House Streetcar on August 14. Residents said it's not the first or last time someone failed to obey the stop sign at the S-Line crossing.

"I did not see it, I did not see it, and I'm very careful," resident Daniel Holfstad said.

According to the city, a study determined a stop sign was sufficient due to the low volume of traffic on the street. However, residents say this accident should result in a new study.

"Flashing lights would make it aware to people, I think that would be beneficial--add some noise if it would help, just anything to stand out," resident Bentley Adams said.

City officials said they understand the residents concerns and take the accident very seriously.

"As soon as the investigation is complete we plan on having a sit down with UTA and see if there is any additional security measures that can be implemented at that crossing, and we would definitely support that," Mayor Cherie Wood said.

4 comments

  • ANOTHERBOB

    The people were killed when the driver “somehow missed the stop sign”? You mean the big stop sign posted by the railroad crossing sign? People who disobey the traffic signs want to blame somebody else for the consequences? Really??

  • wd4o

    “I didn’t see it, and I’m very careful”. Hmm…I don’t think you know the meaning of “very careful”.

  • wd4o

    What scares me about this whole thing is how many people miss seeing a standard issue stop sign! What makes this stop sign so hard to see? There are thousands of stop signs all around the valley that are the SAME COLOR, SIZE and have the same four letters. Are these people having a hard time seeing those too?
    Not all traffic control devices have to jump up and down, scream and flash at you to obey them. This is Driver’s Ed and driving fundamentals. Please, please PRETTY PLEASE, park your car and take the bus before you plow into me!

  • ANOTHERBOB

    People who run stop signs get killed or kill someone else each and every day of the year. Perhaps the UTA should provide signal men at each crossing. Of course some motorists would run them down.

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