Blanchard intersection not a factor in Saturday traffic fatality

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Motorists in Evans frequently complain about the lack of a turn lane or traffic signal on Washington Road at Blanchard Road, but the intersection wasn’t a factor in a fatal Saturday morning car wreck, authorities said.

Phyllis D. Autry, 54, of Old Louisville Road, was killed in the crash. She was a passenger in a Lincoln Continental driven by her husband, Paul Alexander Autry, 37, who suffered serious injuries and is in fair condition at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said today.

The three-vehicle crash occurred about 9:30 a.m. on Washington Road about 200 feet east of Blanchard Road, when for unknown reasons Daniel Edwin Morales, 38, was driving west in the eastbound lane, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office accident report. His car crashed head-on into the Autry’s Lincoln, sending it spinning onto the shoulder. Morales then struck another eastbound vehicle, driven by Albert Drapen Young, 41, of Evans.

Morales also is in fair condition, the MCG spokeswoman said. Young and his passenger were not injured.

Police found Morales at fault in the wreck for driving on the wrong side of the road.  Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said this morning that charges are pending.

Washington Road is a state highway, and Columbia County Construction and Maintenance Division Director Matt Schlacter has said the Blanchard Road intersection does not qualify for a traffic signal according to state Department of Transportation guidelines.

Columbia County is in the design phase of an estimated $55 million project, funded with the 1-percent sales tax, to widen Washington Road from near the Chimney Hill subdivision in Evans to William Few Parkway. That project includes turn lanes and other improvements at Blanchard Road.

 

Reach Valerie Rowell at (706) 868-1222, ext. 110 or

valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (7) Add comment
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pommom38
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pommom38 11/22/10 - 12:25 pm
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There ya go LL. ALL the gory

There ya go LL. ALL the gory details you demanded to know!!
And for those begging for a stop light, would one have prevented this? NO
My prayers are with the Autrys during this very difficult time.

Chillen
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Chillen 11/22/10 - 12:34 pm
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Washington Road BADLY needs a

Washington Road BADLY needs a landscaped area down the middle of the road to separate the 2 sides - Fury's Ferry which gets probably 75% less traffic & slower traffic has one, why can't Washington Road have one?

Another thought. Is Morales here legally? Just wondering.

trimmy
29
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trimmy 11/22/10 - 12:51 pm
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If this person is illegal, he
Unpublished

If this person is illegal, he will have more rights than the victim or her family. This is what America may be from now on. Condolences to the family of Mrs. Autry.

Little Lamb
45869
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Little Lamb 11/22/10 - 03:03 pm
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Good point, Chillen, about

Good point, Chillen, about the median. If I remember correctly, the DOT proposed a median for this section and farther out when they widen it, but the merchants along Washington Rd. pitched a fit and the County Commission backed the merchants. Barry Paschal remembers the details better than I.

I think medians are a good idea, better than suicide lanes. Merchants shouldn't complain, because the DOT provides U-turn lanes so motorists have access to both sides of the road.

716
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Barry Paschal 11/22/10 - 11:18 pm
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The DOT proposal was only for

The DOT proposal was only for a median in the area near Kroger. At that point they weren't even talking about the Blanchard Road area.

Little Lamb
45869
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Little Lamb 11/23/10 - 12:22 am
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I knew we would get the real

I knew we would get the real skinny from Professor Paschal.

The median on Fury's Ferry is nice. Maybe the idea will catch on.

albertoli
179
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albertoli 11/23/10 - 01:16 am
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here's a novel idea, how

here's a novel idea, how about everybody slowing down and teaching their child drivers some basic manners and math? you know, a car traveling at 45 vs 55 mph for a mile only gains so many seconds.. also, pretend the people you are in such a hurry to pass and cut off are going to get out of their cars in the church parking lot next to you...worst drivers have a fish magnet on their car, or an apple on their license plate. beware of them. i know this because i drive 30k miles a year in the augusta area.

Friends123
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Friends123 11/24/10 - 04:48 am
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Danny Morales is American and

Danny Morales is American and is new to the area, just moved from NC. More than likely was unfamilar with the roads! Prayers for all involved, our hearts go out to the Autry family.

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