State highway workers installed 22 new signs warning drivers about dangerous curves on a stretch in La. Highway 44 in southern Ascension Parish where a 5-year-old child was killed in a traffic accident Monday.
Crews erected two curve-warning signs and 20 chevron arrow signs for both traffic directions in the section of highway near Burnside on Tuesday.
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development spokeswoman Lauren Lee tells The Advocate the agency already had developed a plan to have more warning signs installed along La. 44 before the fatal crash.
“They were scheduled to go in early 2013,” Lee said Tuesday.
Makell Andrews, 5, of Sorrento, was partially ejected from his father’s pickup in one of the curves on La. 44 south of Loosemore Road shortly before 7:45 a.m. Monday, Louisiana State Police reported.
The driver, the boy’s father, Anthony K. Andrews, 30, of Sorrento, failed to negotiate the curve, ran off La. 44 and tried to steer back onto La. 44, causing the truck to roll, troopers have said.
Lee said the section of La. 44 actually is composed of a right-hand curve and a left-hand curve. The northern curve is the more gentle of the two, she said.
Lee said the southern curve already had been equipped with curve warning signs in both directions advising drivers to travel no faster than 50 mph. The speed limit on that section of La. 44 is 55 mph.
The diamond-shaped signs also indicate to drivers the direction they will have to steer to negotiate the curve they are approaching.
Crews added the same kind of curve warning signs in both directions along the northern curve, Lee said.
Twenty new chevron arrow signs noting the direction of the curve also were added to both curves in both directions, Lee said.
Since the crash that claimed the life of Makell Andrews, parish officials have confirmed that several accidents recently happened in the two-lane stretch of La. 44 they say is dangerous. The officials also said they had sought unsuccessfully several years ago to have DOTD widen the stretch of road to four lanes with shoulders.
Trooper Jared Sandifer said four to five vehicle crashes, including the wreck on Monday, occurred in that section of La. 44 in the past 30 days.
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