Fatal crash stirs US 127 safety concerns

MIAMI TWP., Ohio - People who live and work near the intersection of State Rt. 73 and U.S. 127 in Milford Township say there seems to be a lot of accidents in that area. The question is why.

The rural area was the scene of a fatal accident late Thursday afternoon involving a semi-truck, a pick-up truck and a car. Two teenagers, who attended Colerain Township High School, were killed, Miranda Lane, 17 and Mathilde Jessen, 16.

Dan Burkholder works in the Milford Township Office. It's located right at the corner of State Rt. 73 and U.S. 127. When the accident happened, he was sitting outside in his truck.

"I heard the tires screech and glanced up just to see impact and vehicles being tossed around," said Burkholder.

The intersection allows drivers along U.S. 127 to go through without stopping.

Drivers along State Rt. 73 have a stop sign. There is a third road, Huston Road, that also intersects the area. It too has a stop sign.

Some who live and work in the area consider the intersection dangerous.

"I've seen a lot of accidents," said Rachel Riley. She works at the BP gas station nearby. "There was three probably in the last month or so," she said.

Ron Rumpler is a long-time Milford Township resident. "I believe they need to put a light up there. A caution light to let them know this stop is coming," said Rumpler.

9 News did a check of the Ohio Department of Public Safety Crash Reports. There were only three accident at the intersection involving two or more vehicles last year.

However, along U.S. 127, numerous accidents were reported within a few miles of State Rt. 73.

The speed limit along the roadway is 55 mph. There is also heavy truck traffic.

"I've got a 17-year-old and a 15 and a half-year-old that wants to get his [temporary driver's license] today," said Burkholder.

"When you see something like that happen to a young person, I just don't know how you can get across to your own children that it can just happen at any moment."

The intersection is also about seven miles from Miami University in Oxford. It is heavily traveled by those heading to and from the campus.

A university spokesperson said the university did work in the past to get the speed limit along State Rt. 73 reduced as traffic gets closer to campus.

Friday evening is expected to see heavy traffic through the intersection because it is the end of the spring semester.

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