Parents fear dangerous intersection on the way to school

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OKLAHOMA COUNTY --

Parents are calling for changes to the roads in northwest Oklahoma City, after an accident involving a Deer Creek student Tuesday.

It happened at the intersection of NW 178 and Meridian, where only the north-south traffic has a stop sign.

"There's too many accidents, too many people getting hurt on their way to work or just on their way to school," said Melanie Reddick, a mother of three. "Something's gotta change."

Reddick knows the danger first-hand. Her daughter, Makayla, nearly lost her life in an accident at a similar intersection in September.

The collision at NW 192nd and Meridian severed Makayla's femoral artery and shattered her pelvis. She left the hospital ten weeks later with 15 screws, three plates and a bolt.

Today, she is finishing her coursework online. She uses a wheelchair to go most places. Walking is painful because of nerve damage.

"I miss out on everything and it's my senior year, so that sucks," she said. "That's what I hate the most. I don't get to see my friends, I don't get to go to Francis Tuttle for my engineering classes, which I loved, and I can't do after school robotics at Deer Creek. It just sucks."

Makayla doesn't remember the accident, but she can drive by the scene and see a white cross her grandmother put as a memory and a warning.

"Being [at the scene] scares me," she said, "but having something like that in telling other people that they can live too and just having precautions can help, and there’s hope."

"Change needs to happen," her mother adds. "We’re very thankful to God that she is here and everything worked out for us but it could be different for somebody else and it’s just dangerous. Something needs to be done."

The Reddicks and many other parents and students want to see more stop signs at intersections.

But County Commissioner Ray Vaughn said it's not always that easy.

"There are actually federal standards for these stop signs," he said, and the intersections in question don't meet that criteria.

Putting up stop signs where they are not warranted could subject the county to liability, he said.

"What I would say to the parents is, make sure they understand what the situation is and have them be very careful when they’re driving," he said. "The teenagers have gotten their licenses, they’ve proven themselves to be adequate drivers in order to do that, so they have to be careful."

Instead, Vaughn says his department will put up more signs warning drivers that the cross traffic at some intersections may not stop.

The Reddicks don't like that solution or the logic behind it.

"That’s not a good enough answer that it doesn’t meet [federal] regulations," said Melanie Reddick. "These are our children, these are our husbands or wives that are getting hurt because there’s not a stop sign. It’s an easy fix."

Adds Makayla: "[Warning signs are] better than nothing, but the stop signs would be best."

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