Wreck at Clifton intersection prompts some to suggest need for traffic signal

On Sunday afternoon, a four-door sedan pulled out of a strip mall on the east side of 32 Road, just south of D 1/2 Road, and in front of a fast-moving Dodge pickup.

Some Clifton residents say the accident is just one of many they have seen here and it’s time for a traffic signal to be installed.

“This is a bad intersection. They need to put a light in here,” said Trish Mathews, who was doing her wash at a laundromat in the strip mall when the two vehicles crashed. “Clifton is growing.”

The accident sent the driver of the four-door Saturn to the hospital.

Her condition was not immediately available. The driver of the pickup was not injured.

“I seen her, and I couldn’t get stopped in time,” said Mondis Herrmann, of Grand Junction, the pickup driver.

The 50-foot-long skid marks on the pavement told the story. Herrmann, heading north on 32 Road, hit the driver’s side of the car as it pulled out of the strip mall, trying to turn left and head south on 32 Road.

The two collided in the left lane. The speed limit on this section of 32 Road is 45 mph.

“We just heard him sliding; he tried to stop,” Mathews said.

For a brief time after the 2 p.m. accident, traffic was pinched to one lane in each direction — north and south — on 32 Road.

Firefighters from Clifton Fire Protection District arrived in less than five minutes, said Alisha Basford, manager of the laundromat and a witness to the crash.

Firefighters had to cut the car away from the woman to free her, Basford said.

Also responding to the scene was the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, which assisted with traffic control, and the Colorado State Patrol. The latter is investigating the accident.

Basford agreed with Mathews, saying the intersection is a magnet for automobile accidents.

The trouble is, she said, cars pull out of the strip mall and try to turn south across four lanes of traffic and a center turn lane.

“There’s a lot of traffic out there,” Basford said.


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