ROCKINGHAM — The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that changes will be coming to a Richmond County intersection next week.
The intersection of Battley Dairy and Airport roads is being switched to an all-way stop intersection on Wednesday, April 26, the department said in a statement. The existing traffic pattern has stop signs on Battley Dairy Road, while drivers on Airport Road don’t have to stop.
State officials say increased traffic volume through the intersection and other factors are the reason for the change.
Weather permitting, crews will install stop signs on Airport Road and upgrade the pavement markings on both roads to alert motorists about the new traffic pattern, according to the department. On-site flagmen will help control traffic through the intersection while work is underway.
According to the DOT, a study of more than 50 intersections across the state converted to all-way stop showed a 68 percent reduction in crashes, with a 75 percent drop in front-impact crashes and a 77 percent reduction in crashes with injuries and fatalities.
Two people were sent to the hospital following a wreck at the intersection in April of 2013.
Hessan Malik Brown, 17, of Bennettsville, was indicted May 4 last year on a charge of second-degree murder for the death of Brandon Devon Pegues, of Wallace.
According to deputies with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Brown, Pegues and 17-year-old Quamane Requan McCall, also of Wallace, tired to rob a man on Maggie Drive of $300 on Dec. 18.
Deputies say McCall was grabbed and held by the victim, while Brown and Pegues made their getaway.
Shortly after fleeing the scene in a 2013 Chevy Cruze, they were involved in a wreck at the intersection of Battley Dairy and Airport roads — about a quarter-mile away.
Troopers with the N.C. Highway Patrol said Brown, who was driving the car, ran a stop sign while traveling west on Battley Dairy Road and struck the side of 1984 Dodge Power Ram pickup truck — the impact sending both vehicles into a violent spin. The truck crashed into a fire hydrant and the car flipped over, coming to rest on its roof.
The truck’s driver and passenger were taken to Sandhills Regional Medical Center in Hamlet, and then one of those patients was airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, according to troopers.
Pegues was flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte where he died Dec. 23. Brown was taken to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst.
The DOT urges drivers approaching an all-way stop intersection to follow these right-of-way rules:
• The first vehicle to the intersection has the right of way ahead of any vehicle that has not yet arrived;
• When two or more vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right of way;
• The vehicle with the right of way may move straight ahead or, if legal and after signaling, turn left or right;
• When two facing vehicles approach an intersection at the same time, both drivers can move straight ahead or turn right. If one driver is going straight while the other wants to turn left, the driver who wants to turn left must yield. The driver who is traveling straight ahead has the right of way; and
• Even with the right of way, remember to use the appropriate turn signals and be careful to avoid hitting other vehicles or pedestrians.