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Family fights to make Highway 167 safer for drivers

Hwy 167 Vermilion Parish.PNG
Posted at 6:56 AM, Mar 08, 2022

'Do Not Enter' signs line the sides of Highway 167 in Vermilion Parish warning drivers from heading into oncoming traffic.

But those signs, according to some, aren't enough to prevent head-on crashes from occurring. Those crashes can often prove fatal.

18-year-old Ramsie Baumgardner was killed on Highway 167 in January after a head-on collision.

"There's a lot of people that don't know the highway. It's really dark at night when you just can't see," said family member Sheri Dubois. "There are road signs. There are warning signs, but they're not always looked at."

Since Baumgardner's death, her family has been pleading for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Vermilion Parish officials to do something about the road's dangerous conditions.

"What would they do if it were the life or death of their child? Would they just throw their hands up and say, 'sorry we can help, we can't do anything' or would they push to find any solution that would help so residents and non-residents could see the dangers ahead of them or see the road ahead of them," said Dubois.

DOTD told KATC that they are currently conducting a study on speed, signage, and environment along the highway to find solutions.

"There could be several options that may come out of the study," said DOTD Public Information Officer Deidre Druilhet. "And that's the key word, may."

The Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office has suggested adding more high-tech signs down the highway.

"You can start or with the smaller version where it's just the flashing lights. But it can actually expand to where, if someone is going the wrong way, it would notify law enforcement. It would tell us where they're at and where to start heading to," said Vermilion Parish Sheriff PIO Eddie Langlinais. "With a more expanded system, you could add LED signs to let oncoming traffic know someone's coming towards them."

The study being conducted by DOTD should be completed by the end of April.

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