MDOT Evaluating Dangerous Curve After Car Crashes Into Church

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

"There have been accidents that hit trees, there's been accidents that's hit signs, that's hit poles," Cleveland Boyd said. "We used to walk the dog around the church, and we won't even do that anymore."

Is a curve where a man was critically hurt crashing his car into a church too dangerous?

News 10 spoke to neighbors who say the problems with that stretch of South MLK Blvd. began long before Thursday's accident.

"In the ten years that I've been here, there has been at least 20 - minimum of 20 - accidents," Cleveland Boyd said.

Boyd lives across the street from Union Missionary Baptist Church. He said the most recent accident where a 24-year-old man crashed his van straight into the church's chapel is by far the worst, but many others have left their mark, even if they haven't been reported.

"There have been accidents that hit trees, there's been accidents that's hit signs, that's hit poles," Boyd said. "We used to walk the dog around the church, and we won't even do that anymore."

Boyd said the curve in the road is the issue. People are either driving too fast or not expecting it, and church-goers are in an especially tough spot.

"We do warn our members when they go out of there to take extra care," church board member Charles Green said. "That is a dangerous area there, and something needs to be done."

Accidents happen so frequently that some of the tire marks and divots in the grass aren't even from the most recent crash, and that got the city's attention.

"I think it's highly appropriate for their to be an investigation," Bob Johnson, Lansing's Director of Planning and Neighborhood Development said. "I know our police department is doing their own investigation, as to the cause, but I also think it's a design issue that needs to be explored."

The city's transportation engineer has already contacted the Michigan Department of Transportation, since MLK/M-99 is a state trunk line. They're in the beginning stages of discussing what can be done to prevent future tragedies.

"Let's look at the signage, let's look at the design of the drive cut, let's look at the barriers, what type of barriers," Johnson said.

The neighbors have some ideas, too.

"Reflective arrows, rumble strips," Boyd said.

For now, the caution tape will hopefully serve as a warning and as a reminder to the community.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the Lansing Police Department.


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