Deadly crash raises concerns about safety on U.S. Highway 81 - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Deadly crash raises community concerns about safety on U.S. Highway 81

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A deadly head-on crash outside of Yankton has many in the community raising questions about what they consider a dangerous stretch of road.

The mayor of Irene and a Yankton woman were killed in that crash on U.S. Highway 81, Friday.

KSFY News spoke with people who take Highway 81 about how they respond to what they call dangerous driving conditions.

This stretch of U.S. Highway 81, just north of Yankton, gives many drivers high anxiety about what they can't see while on this road.

Driver Tina Barnes said "if I go back and forth more than once during the day, one of those times will be like a near accident for me so it's a dangerous intersection and I've been driving a long time."

Doug Conti said he's been trying to get people to pay attention to driving conditions on Highway 81 for a long time.

"It's an inherently cluttered and dangerous area because you're changing lanes, the number of lanes, you're coming up the hill with questionable visibility to poor visibility," Conti said.

Which is why Doug contacted state lawmakers about his concerns.

"I'll give you a copy of the emails and you can see they went to state personnel and exactly nothing happened," Conti said.

"I have no way of knowing whether that particular accident was connected with that but my feelings are that maybe I could have done more, but we're doing something now," Conti added.

Tina said she won't let her kids get behind the wheel until road conditions change.

"You can get a drivers license at 14 but I don't allow my children to have a drivers license until they turn 18, just because they're going to need a lot of thinking skills and reflex skills to handle this intersection," Barnes said.

While we don't know what caused the deadly head on crash here, some hope by raising their concerns about safety on Highway 81, will make it the last.

We contacted the Department of Transportation and they say they look into every concern brought to them, but they haven't given us a comment yet about the issues with Highway 81.

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