Petition launches for safer travel on Highway 30 after deadly crash

Emergency crews at the scene of a fatal crash on Highway 30 in Benton County. (CBS2/FOX28)

A deadly crash this week at a dangerous corridor intersection is behind a new effort by residents to take action.

The Iowa State Patrol says 78 -year-old Delores Pickering was driving east on Highway 30, when a truck pulled onto the highway, crashing into her car.

Pickering died and two others were sent to the hospital. That crash is sparking a fire in Benton County residents.

Atkins resident Joey Svedja started a petition calling for changes to reduce the risk of accidents at intersections on Highway 30.

Nearly 2,000 signed it in less than 48 hours.

Mike Albert, a long-time resident of Atkins, knew Delores personally.

"I've known her for a lot of years... I considered her a friend... I've known other people who were killed out there too."

And other Benton County residents tell similar stories

A good friend of mine had her brother died on Highway 30 so we try to be really careful there, says Donna Hieper.

Svedja travels Highway 30 every day and says the weather conditions like heavy fog make it even more dangerous.

"If you research you will find many accidents and a lot of fatalities in Benton County alone on Highway 30. I am not saying that these acceleration/deceleration lanes will help but It is a big step forward especially in high traffic flow areas," says Svedja.

He says he is floored by how many people are signing his petition.

Cathy Cutler with the Iowa Department of Transportation says the traffic count must be high enough to justify spending tax dollars on new acceleration and de-acceleration lanes.

But those who champion the petition say cost isn't an issue. "Talk to the families who've lost loved ones from accidents like that, you can't put a price on the loss of a life, said Svedja."

While the petition is certainly raising awareness - the DOT recommends contacting them directly for safety concerns at (319) 364-0235.

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