Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen took to Facebook to vent about a dangerous intersection that’s getting heavy traffic as the official detour around a closed bridge on I-65 near Lafayette. His post was prompted by a fatal accident that killed a Lebanon woman Tuesday morning.
Nielsen wants the Indiana Department of Transportation to install a stoplight at the intersection of US-52 and State Road 47.
The sheriff admits the emotion following the fatal crash was his tipping point for using social media to call for action at the intersection. The crash itself was caused by a distracted driver. Sheriff Nielsen says his office had been in contact with INDOT several times since the detour was announced about getting a light at that intersection.
“I’d like to see a resolution within 24 hours from INDOT. So, I’m hoping that for 24 hours today, INDOT will come back and say here’s what we plan on doing. And with something more than just lowering the speed limit,” Nielson says. “We have to keep in mind that we have turned a U.S. highway into an interstate.”
In a statement, INDOT spokesman Will Wingfield says they are saddened by the loss of life and are working non-stop to ensure public safety. Wingfield says no solution is off the table.
Nielsen says this is not a turf war with INDOT and that he had a good conversation with the deputy commissioner. More than 4,000 people liked the sheriff’s Facebook post about the situation.