Neighbors: Highway 115 curve near Renner is very dangerous

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RENNER, S.D. (KSFY) - A roll-over crash claimed the life of a 35-year-old man near Renner on Tuesday night on Highway 115 when the driver lost control of his SUV. And it isn't the first accident on that stretch of road.

KSFY News asked the South Dakota Department of Public Safety for some number. Since 2012, there have been 34 crashes on Highway 115 between Sioux Falls and Dell Rapids. Two of those have been fatal and there are three "Think! Don't Die," signs in the immediate area where the crash occurred.

It's unknown whether speed was a factor in this accident yet, but neighbors who live in the trailer court just off the highway said people way drive too fast.

Earlier today, KSFY News reporter Erika Leigh downloaded a radar detection application on her phone -- the speed limit on the stretch is 65 mph, but she caught multiple drivers going more than 80 mph.

"I would say people come flying around that curve pretty good," said Wanda Lewis, who's lived just off the highway for the last 10 years. "If they're late for work or they want to get home for supper -- yeah, they're there, they're going."

Lewis said crashes in that area are very common.

"There have been other accidents out here. We've not been home when they've happened but it's a curve that has them quite frequently," Lewis said. 'There's a no passing zone coming into it and not all of it is no passing, but it's still hard to see around that curve. You don't know what's coming."

But the Office of Highway Safety and the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office said things seem to have improved on Highway 115 between Sioux Falls and Dell Rapids over the years.

"What we're seeing is last year was one of the safest years when it comes to injuries and fatalities in the last five years," said Sheriff Mike Milstead.

Other neighbors who wished to stay anonymous said the road is dangerous. They suggested an immediate drop in the speed limit or a stronger police presence. Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office and the Highway Patrol share the responsibilities but said it isn't always possible to put a deputy in one spot because of other commitments.

"We don't have extra deputies to just set in areas all across the county," Milstead said. "Keep in mind, there's about 800 square miles just in this county, today I have six deputies out on the road."

Lewis said she hopes the speed limit will be changed as the neighborhood expands.

"They're getting a lot more housing developments out here, so I would imagine eventually they're going to slow the traffic down at some point," Lewis said.

Sheriff Milstead said the Highway Patrol, the Department of Transportation and the Sheriff's Office are working together to get more speed trailers. He said they tend to get drivers' attention and let them know how fast they're going -- as well as help police identify areas that may need an officer to patrol.



 
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