Fatal Crash in Kearney Leads Neighbors to Question Lack of Stop Signs

Photo taken by Jakob Patient and given to 1011's Eamon O'Meara
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KEARNEY, Neb. -- After a 9 year old is killed in a crash at an unmarked crossing in Kearney, neighbors are calling for more stop signs.

The speed limit is 25 miles per-hour on 17th Street, but residents say a lack of stop signs results in speeding cars.

"It's a constant maze, day in and day out. You see cars going 50-60 miles per hour up and down this road. Just two nights ago there was one that was going about 60 going down west of here and he actually went air born," said Chuck Patient who lives at the intersection of 17th St. and 6th Ave. where the fatal crash happened.

The Monday accident took the life of 9-year-old Jackson Wallace. There are no stop signs, stop lights, or yield signs at any side of this intersection. Jayme Bells was traveling east down 17th St. while Rebecca Konate, who had the 9 year old in her car, was traveling south down 6th Ave. The impact was so hard it drove both cars into a nearby yard, one car traveling as far as 40 yards from the intersection.

This is only one of several Kearney intersections that are lacking any type of traffic control.

"Any time you're approaching an unmarked intersection you really have to slow down and still look. Don't just assume right of way and give yourself every benefit to clear that intersection safely. There's preferential right of way treatment to vehicles traveling to your right as you're approaching that intersection," said Kearney Police Department Patrol Officer Ryan Ohri.

But even with this traffic law, police said commuters should always be alert.

Residents in the neighborhood said they fear for the worst if something isn't done.

Patient said, "My son comes out and he plays football and he comes out and doesn't think, you know he's a kid and he comes out in the road and everything and it could be him one of these day. It's a major concern for us."

Authorities are still investigating Monday's crash and charges have no yet been filed.