High Traffic Crash Sites in Macon County


Macon County- Hundreds of people die in traffic crashes in Illinois each year. In Macon County, deputies believe it has been a spike lately according to traffic reports. There have been five fatalities since June 9th in Macon County and at the intersection of Route 36 and 85th Street, it is one of high priority.

"My son Justin Yount was 28 years old [when] he lost his life in an accident here on June 14, 2013," said Kathy Burkham.

So far this year, there have been 570 fatal crashes in Illinois according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. There were 573 crash fatalities this time last year and 18,000 nationwide.

"This year we have seen a lot on Route 36 East of Decatur, as well as, on 121 Northwest of Decatur," said Lt. Jamie Belcher of the Macon County Sheriff’s Department.

Many things are to blame for the number of fatal crashes.

"There's many different theories on it. Obviously intoxicated drivers, drivers under the influence of alcohol, as well as, drugs. Distracted driving, as well as, more cars being on the road," said L. Belcher.

"I think the road needs some grids in it to wake people up. My son fell asleep at the wheel when he had his accident," added Burkham.

Along with Burkham's son who died on Rt. 36 and 85th Street, recently another man crashed at the same location.

"That one the driver was familiar with the area. The county highway, as well as, the state highway put up multiple signs, some strips and to the fact that that was one intersection that has seen an increase in a large number of traffic accidents," Lt. Belcher said.

As Macon County deputies continue to add signs, flashing red lights and strips, lately it has been a little difficult to keep the roads safe.

"With the state budget or the county budget, money has kind of been tight so it's been tight on us sending officers out there to in force more proactively those types of laws," Lt. Belcher said.

"After we had another accident here not too long ago, I really wanted to work hard and bring some construction or red lights to this area to maybe save another life," Burkham said.

Along with doing your own part, Lt. Belcher said, drivers should reduce speed, pay attention and don't drive impaired.

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