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Push for change to intersection after deadly crash

Posted at 8:48 PM, Nov 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-02 20:49:16-04

Neighbors are calling for change at a busy intersection in West Palm Beach that has been the scene of dozens of accidents.

On Friday, an elderly man was killed at Northlake Boulevard and Hall Boulevard. PBSO says Louis Riseman, 93, of West Palm Beach, ran a stop sign and was hit by a truck hauling a trailer full of sod.

"I would say it's the worst,” said Tom Dalessio, who describes the intersection as a death trap. "In 15 years I know there's been two dozen accidents.”

Chopper 5 was exclusively over the scene as the PBSO blocked off the area where the truck flipped over and landed in the woods. The accident happened just after 10:00 a.m. Friday. Riseman’s car was left mangled, and he was pronounced dead on the scene. The truck driver was not hurt.

"There have been deaths at that corner and it's like something needs to be done, it needs a light bad,” Dalessio said.

According to the county's traffic division, there have been 28 accidents in the past five years, and the last time someone died was in 2014. That’s when the county upgraded the intersection by adding rumble strips, stop ahead warning signs and oversized stop signs with a flashing light.

"It's unfortunate the late driver has missed all of these,” said Motasem Al-Turk, the director of the traffic division.

As investigators blocked the scene, Al-Turk said a traffic signal would not help.

"Traffic signals don't necessarily reduce the number of accidents, actually in many occasions they increase the number of accidents,” Al-Turk said.

Three tow trucks were needed to haul the truck away. Dalessio said something definitely needs to be done to prevent another deadly accident.

"It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out there's something wrong with that corner there,” Dalessio said.

Al-Turk added there's not much more that can be done. A traffic light is based on guidelines by the state, like the size of the intersection, the number of accidents and volume, which it doesn't meet.

Al-Turk is reminding drivers to pay more attention when driving in the area.