The number of crashes on a Wilson County highway has significantly increased in the last couple years, and residents hope a widening project may be a safe solution.
Drivers on Highway 109 in Wilson County have become all too familiar with the traffic on this state route and the accidents it can cause.
The numbers don't lie, in the last three years the amount of accidents on this highway in Wilson County alone has increased dramatically, from a total of 66 in 2013 to 132 in 2015. Several of those accidents were fatal.
"When people top those hills, its blinding. Its too late when traffic is backed up," Independent Tow owner, Matt Wilson said.
Wilson has often been called to assist since his company is also on HWY 109. "Sometimes you might get an accident two times on 109 in a days' time," he said.
His stock yard was full of vehicles that didn't fare well on 109. "That white van and that Honda Element are just two of the vehicles that we got up there yesterday. There were three involved in it," Wilson explained.
He and the drivers we spoke to believed the lack of shoulder space, high speeds and more vehicles on the highway are partly to blame. Besides that, pulling out onto 109 could be a feat in itself. "Its difficult to get out if you're going to make a left turn," driver, WD Newll said.
The state did have plans to add more lanes and shoulder space in the years to come but Wilson is skeptical. "Its become a major truck thoroughfare and when they put four lanes; two north, two south, we're going to have a lot more truck traffic through here," he said.
More trucks, more lanes and Wilson feared higher speeds. He urged drivers to be cautious, patient, and most importantly slow down.
The widening project planned for a portion of Highway 109 was scheduled to begin in 2017 and will include a stop light at the Academy Road intersection.