Changes on SH 302 a year after 9 years old and mother died in an accident

WINKLER COUNTY, Texas (Nexstar) – February 8 marks a year since nine-year-old Hazel Thompson and her mother were tragically killed in a six-car accident on highway 302.

Police said they were stopped at the intersection of Highway 302 and Highway 115 when a truck that lost control of its speed caused a chain reaction accident.

After losing his wife and daughter in a crash last year, Michael Thompson spoke to ABC Big 2 News.

“My family, they are the third vehicle in line and the ones who suffer the most,” Thompson said.

A year later, lives continue to be lost on Highway 302.

In the last week of January alone, there have been three fatal crashes, one of which claimed the life of Lorin Readmond, Loving County Deputy Sheriff.

“We have certainly heard the public concerns about Highway 302 and we have responded in a variety of ways,” said Gene Powell, Public Information Officer for the Texas Department of Transportation.

Shortly after Hazel Thompson and her mother died, TxDot began construction of a double overpass on Highway 302 that spans Highway 115 and the railroad line just west of Kermit. This is a $55 million project that was initially expected to take two years to complete.

New overpass on Highway 302

“They were really ahead of schedule. So even though they said it would take two years and they’re at the one-year mark now, it probably won’t take the full two years because they’re way ahead of schedule,” said Powell.

Steel beams are currently suspended over the bridge on Highway 115. Powell says this marks around the halfway point of the project.

Construction of overpass on Highway 302

According to TxDot, the oil industry doubled the amount of traffic at this intersection between 2015 and 2019. This created an urgent need for double flyovers. Powell said that it is difficult to predict where the oil industry will dig next, and that makes it difficult for them to plan road projects ahead of time.

“At TxDot, we don’t always act on predictions or guesses. We have to watch the traffic before we can react and build structures and improve things.”

TxDot is addressing the increased traffic on Highway 302 by creating this double overpass, but it also has other projects for SH 302 underway. This includes adding lanes to the east and west of Kermit, and undertaking a long-term study to make part of the highway possible into four lanes.

While heavy construction is underway along Highway 302, TxDot asks you to exercise extreme caution when driving through Winkler County.

“As the different phases progress, our detours change, width restrictions can sometimes change, so motorists entering and leaving the project on a regular basis – I have It could go on Monday and on Friday it could be completely different. So people have to be really aware of their surroundings when they’re passing,” says Powell.

For more road work being done on Highway 302 click here.

https://www.yourbasin.com/news/changes-on-sh-302-one-year-after-nine-year-old-and-mother-killed-in-crash/ Changes on SH 302 a year after 9 years old and mother died in an accident

Aila Slisco

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