KINGSVILLE, Mo. — In Johnson County, Missouri there is growing concern over an intersection some say is deadly. Now, the widow of one of the victims started a petition to make safety changes.
It has more than 500 signatures at present and is bringing attention to crashes at Highway 50 and NW 1601st Rd. This is the intersection where Jasper Smith lost his life.
“As soon as I saw all of the emergency vehicles I knew. When I got here he had already passed,” his widow, Haili Smith said.
Smith said her husband went to get her a drink in November at Dollar General. He forgot his wallet and was crossing over the highway to get back home.
“I actually told him the first time I met him I was going to marry him,” Smith said.
He never made it back. Smith was a veteran, iron worker, and most importantly — dad to four kids.
“My husband was a beautiful man inside and out. He loved his babies more than anything. He leaves behind three children. He had a smile that would light up any room, and the brightest blue eyes,” Smith said.
Smith said she wants to see a J-turn put into the intersection to make it more safe for drivers.
“I’m here to make a change,” Smith said.
Clark Holdren, the Johnson County Coroner agrees, and says something has to be done.
“In my opinion there will be another accident at this intersection,” Holdren said.
Holdren said in May another person died in the intersection due to a senseless crash. While changes may cost money he said it’s worth it.
“I’m a taxpayer in this state and I understand the concern. I just hope the concern for life overrides the concern from a financial standpoint,” Holdren said.
Charles Kavanagh, the Western Commissioner for Johnson County, Missouri said while MODOT has to be the one to take action he hopes they will make a change.
“I’d like for them to do something at this intersection. I’d like for them to make it a j turn. Make it more safe for the community here. We’ve seen way too many accidents and fatalities,” Kavanagh said.
Smith said she will keep fighting for change and hopes others in Johnson County will fight with her so no other child has to spend months, years, and a lifetime without their dad.
“Whatever I can do to make something like that happen. Whatever I can do to make sure another life isn’t taken. Whether it’s from reckless driving or whether it’s just not knowing where the car would go next. It would mean so much to me and I know it would mean so much to my husband,” Smith said.
FOX4 reached out to both the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri Department of Transportation about the intersection. MODOT says they are investigating and will hopefully be able to report back soon.
If you would like to sign the petition to create a J-turn at the intersection you can do so here.