Residents react to recent crashes on Planz Rd.

Posted at 2:09 PM, Mar 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-28 20:48:01-04

A car crash early Sunday morning left a man dead and several parked cars damaged on Planz Road.


Police say the accident occurred just before 4 AM Sunday morning near Fred Thompson Junior High School. 

Police could not confirm if the driver, 23 year old Hugo Alberto Soto Vargas, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol but did say it appeared that the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a row of cars parked along the side of the street. 

Katherine Errotabere, whose car was damaged in Sunday's accident, said that these crashes involving parked cars are becoming common in the area.

"This has happened before," Errotabere said.

"It happened on the other side of me where a guy took out 5 cars, young kid, he was drunk. And then across the way, a gentleman was killed when a car hit a bunch of cars."

Errotabere said she doesn't know if accidents are caused by speeding or whether the area is not well-lit at night. But she would like to see steps taken to stop the accidents from becoming a trend.

"Maybe a little bit more police activity, we do have a lot," said Errotabere.

"I do see them around a lot but monitoring the speed maybe, maybe find out if that's what the reason is, is the speed." 

Errotabere did acknowledge that the previous cases involved a drunk driver but would still like to look for a solution to the car accident problem.

John Ussery, a civil engineer for the Public Works Department's Traffic Engineering sector, says that the intersection closest to Sunday's accident was surveyed in 2009 for a possible traffic signal. 
"There was some concerns from the parents and administrations from the school that Planz is a wide road and it's got a relatively high speed limit, so they were concerned of students crossing there," said Ussery.
"So we did the study, it didn't warrant a traffic signal at that time but it did warrant a flashing beacon which is what was later installed."
Ussery added that because the accidents near that intersection have involved drivers that were impaired, any change in traffic controls wouldn't stop the accidents from occurring.