Intersection comes under fire

VENTURA, Iowa – Two severe accidents in one week and all along the same stretch of a major highway; now locals are searching for answers.

The intersection of Highway 18, just outside the town of Ventura, has seen several accidents and fatalities in the past few years.

All this despite new safety precautions put in place such as adding extra caution lights and turning lanes.

“We’re pretty close especially by the fire station. Whenever there’s an accident we always know and we live really close. It’s constant, there are always accidents on that corner,” said Stacy Hackenmiller of Ventura.

In the span of one year, Stacy and her family have experienced had four accidents along the stretch of road and have totaled four cars and only on one occasion were they at fault.

Fortunately for them, they have all escaped without harm.

Brian Roberts was an EMT for the towns of Clear Lake and Ventura for 30 years and says he’s seen too many accidents along the road where drivers do not make it out alive.

“If you just even look at the last six months and the number of accidents we’ve had, it truly goes back to all the people’s lives that change dramatically because of that intersection,” said Roberts.

Brian says, in many cases, speed was a factor, but if you ask Stacy, there are still things you can do to help avoid future accidents.

“When you get to that corner you just have to be alert, you just have to always watch for it. You got to know that there’s always that chance that if people are driving, they might not see you,” said Hackenmiller.

Roberts says he hopes to at least make one person more aware when approaching that intersection.

He says each time he drives by, he’s reminded of the countless lives lost in his 30 years on the job and how if he can help it, he would do whatever it takes to make sure no one else loses a loved one.

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