In the wake of highway crash, Cowarts is calling for change

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COWARTS, AL (WTVY) -- People in one community are calling for changes after a fiery crash closed Highway 84 East for more than five hours.

The wreck during rush hour sent 4 people to the hospital, Tuesday. It's raised some concerns about the safety of that stretch of highway.

"It's a nerve wrecker because every time I hear that sound BOOM! You expect the worst."

For the people who live around this stretch of the highway, the sight and sound of a wreck is something that's become too familiar.

This comes after a crash between an 18-wheeler, and an SUV,

More than 60 wrecks have happened at this intersection in the last 5 years.

No one died in Tuesday's crash, but 4 people ended up in the hospital.

Cowarts Mayor Randy Roland says it's a problem, "As the east side of Dothan grows, we have traffic coming out of Georgia, Florida, the Ashford area, all of east Houston county, it's dangerous."

And for people who live off of Hwy. 84, it poses a constant risk.

Billy Thomas is one of these residents, and he told us "My niece was going to church, about a week ago, and someone ran the light and took her front end off."

It's not just the road itself causing the problems.
Drivers are going well over the 65 mph speed limit.

Wily Dawsey, another resident of Cowarts who lives just off of 84 says "A lot of people if they're not familiar with that area, and they come over that hill, then there's the light, and they're going too fast to stop."

Mayor Roland says "Hopefully, after we've had all these wrecks, the state will see that the speed limit needs to be lowered in that particular area right there also."

Mayor Roland is working with the Alabama Department of Transportation to have the speed limit dropped to around 55 mph which he hopes will help lower the number of crashes.

Crews are working on replacing the light post, power lines and traffic light. Nearly 20,000 people travel on 84 East everyday.