BLADENSBURG, Md. - FOX 5 has learned a Prince George’s County intersection where a 16-year-old boy was struck and killed earlier this week by a vehicle driven by Metro Transit Police officer had been previously inspected for safety concerns. Safety improvements had been approved more than two years ago, but that work had yet to begin.
The cause of the fatal collision that killed Derrick Staton on Monday is still under investigation, but a resident who lives near the crash site said he has complained about the intersection before.
Marlo Maddox moved into a neighborhood next to Crain Highway (Route 301) and Chadds Ford Drive this past summer. He said he immediately noticed how dangerous the intersection was for pedestrians as there were no sidewalks and crosswalks in the area.
“I would just cringe looking at someone trying to cross that intersection,” he said.
Maddox wrote to the county and the state and was told in an email in October that new safety measures were coming, but a date was not given.
He wrote to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) again this week after hearing about the death of Staton. He asked if the project had been scheduled.
“It’s very hard to characterize it,” Maddox said. “Frustration, anger, disappointment – and it would be unfair to all of the parties involved to say that this tragedy could have been avoided. But it’s clear right now as we speak that no pedestrian aids are at that intersection.”
On Thursday, MDOT engineer Peter Campanides told FOX 5 that once the project was approved in Oct. 2015 to put in safety measures like crosswalks and pedestrian signals, it was then moved to the design department. However, he was not sure why the project had not begun.
Maddox said there is no time to waste and he hopes by speaking out publicly, the intersection will finally be safer.
“As long as that continues, pedestrians are going to be at increased risk for injury or worse,” he said.
MDOT said in a statement that they were saddened to learn about the tragic incident and traffic engineers review each fatal crash. They added that they are in the design phase and are developing a construction schedule. However, it did not say when construction will finally begin.