- Micca Terrell
Drivers at the Montgomery – Cheatham County line are now greeted by flashing safety lights in the intersection where a local deputy lost his life over a year ago. According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, flashing lights were installed on the stop signs at Highway 41A and Oak Plains Road and Mt. Carmel Road last fall.
Cheatham County Deputy Stephen Reece died after his cruiser collided with a white van in that area on November 15, 2019. Investigators with the Tennessee Highway Patrol said in their report it appeared Reece was traveling east on Oak Plains Road and failed to stop at the stop sign, and that his emergency equipment was not activated. Deputy Reece had been on the force in Cheatham County about seven months.
Following Deputy Reece’s crash at this location, TDOT reviewed the area and crash data, according to Kathryn Schulte, TDOT Community Relations Officer, Region 3.
“There are very specific requirements to receive federal safety dollars for improvements based not only on the number, but types of crashes in the area, and this intersection did not meet those requirements. However, due to the number of serious crashes, TDOT engineers decided to move forward with safety improvements that would be funded with state dollars. The stop signs with flashing beacons were installed in September and the cost for the equipment and labor is estimated at $2,000 - $3,000,” Schulte said.
According to a TDOT Safety Office data summary report, a total of 22 crashes occurred in that vicinity from December 2015 to November 2020.