The NC Department of Transportation made additional safety improvements Wednesday to a rural Johnston County intersection that was the scene of a deadly car crash in December.
DOT crews placed larger stop signs and additional warning signs of an approaching stop on Applewhite Road at Highway 231 south of Wendell.
On the night of December 2nd, Samantha Scott was traveling on Applewhite Road, which was unfamiliar to her, and failed to see the stop sign and ran through the intersection. Her Mitsubishi was struck in the side by a pickup truck traveling on Highway 231. Her 11 year-old son, Aaron Bryant, was wearing a seat belt and sitting in the rear seat but still died as a result of injuries. Scott and two others in the truck were hurt but not seriously.
Andrew Barksdale, Public Relations Officer for the NC DOT said the intersection had been under investigation months before the fatal crash. Barksdale said a citizen contacted the DOT in August 2017 about their concerns. The DOT launched an investigation in September. Johnston County government leaders contacted the DOT in December, days after the deadly crash about their concerns as well. By that time the division traffic engineering office had completed the study and made recommendations for some improvements.
In addition to larger stop signs, distance information to an existing stop was added Wednesday. The DOT also plans to clear vegetation to improve sight distance for drivers who stop on Applewhite Road to give them an even better view of traffic on Highway 231. The vegetation should be cleared within the next few weeks, Barksdale said, weather permitting.
About 5,000 cars pass through the intersection each day.
After the December 2nd fatal crash, the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office determined that no charges would be filed against Ms. Scott. Photos by John Payne