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Summerville to add traffic light at intersection where 3 died in crash

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2021 at 10:48 PM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - One year after a crash killed three members of a Summerville family, officials say there’s a plan to make the intersection where the crash happened safer. But there are questions about how soon the change will happen.

Three members of a family died in a collision at the intersection of Nexton Parkway and Brighton Park Boulevard died in October 2020. Authorities say a teenager was charged with reckless homicide in the deaths of Chad, Andrea and Meredith Freeman, all from Summerville.

Plans call for a new traffic light at the intersection. But because of supply chain issues, Berkeley County says there is no set start or end date for the installation.

“It’s probably long overdue, and especially if you consider the amount of growth that’s going on in the Nexton area, the infrastructure needs to support that,” resident Michael Moucha said. “I’d much rather see it get put in place now than wait when there’s more accidents and traffic.”

The Nexton area, and Summerville as a whole, is growing, town leaders say. Summerville’s population stands at just above 50,000 now.

“What we would see in the last 20 years is almost a doubling of our population,” Summerville Economic Development Coordinator Michael Lisle said. “If you look at the last 40 years say 1980 to now, we’re up nearly 700 percent.”

Town officials say they won’t be surprised if Summerville’s population reaches 70,000 people, a 40-percent increase, in the next five to 10 years. With that possible jump in residents, even the Nexton community would see efforts to expand.

“Talking to our friends out at Nexton, uh, they estimate that their residential element is probably only about 20 percent built out, so there’s quite a bit a land out of there still to develop,” Lisle said.

Residents say the rest of the town needs to keep up.

“If they’re going to build 5,000 houses, you need to have the infrastructure already there to support it,” Moucha says. “We know that accidents are going to happen, we know that traffic patterns are always going to happen. So, it’s better to get people used to those things now than to wait until some accident. We need to be proactive, not reactive.”

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