FREEMAN, S.D. (KELO) –People who work at a busy highway intersection in southeast South Dakota say something needs to change. Last month a man died in a crash where Highway 18 and 81 meet near Freeman. Abby Streyle, who manages the restaurant, known for its chislic, says the two-way stop is confusing for drivers.
“Because there is a four-way stop at Highway 42 and 81, Highway 44 and 81, Highway 46 and 81 this is really the only busy intersection where there isn’t a four-way stop,” said Streyle.
Streyle says she’s seen several cars rear ended right in front of the restaurant.
Jai Walter is a frequent customer and the Chief of the Menno Fire Department. he’s responded to many crashes over the years.
“For us, it is two major roads coming through, and everybody assumes that it’s going to be a four-way stop because highway 18 locals here consider that a major road, so they just assume the other traffic is going to stop also,” said Walter.
That’s why people in the area are urging the South Dakota Department of Transportation to make a change. Right now highway 46 detours are pushing even more traffic to this intersection.
“It’s very important to us that everyone gets here and home safe, around safe if there is anything we can do to prevent anyone else from getting hurt.
According to Streyle if a four-way stop is not an option, the state could reduce the speed or add some signage or warning lights. Streyle also says the owner of Meridian Corner has been in touch with the Department of Transportation and is waiting to hear back on any possible solutions.