A mother and her two young children made it through a nasty rear-ender at 51st and 101 in Newport Sunday morning. Nobody seriously injured in either their car or in the sturdy pickup they ran into the back of.
Newport Police say the Honda was headed southbound on 101 approaching the light at 51st when for some reason the driver failed to see the pickup that was just beginning to pull forward through the intersection, the light having just turned green.
The driver of the Honda slammed on her brakes. All four wheels locked up leaving dark skid marks on the pavement. But the impact was still very violent. It smashed in the front of the honda and its bumper was dislodged and stuck under the pickup’s rear bumper.
The kids in the back of the Honda were seat belted in so they were fine. Mom, however, was hit hard by the exploding air bag. She was transported by PacWest Ambulance to PCH to be checked out.
The Portland couple in the pickup said they had come down to Newport to escape the heat. They expressed relief that no one was seriously injured in the Honda and that they were glad that their vehicle was still quite driveable. They won’t need a rental to get home.
Not much question who’ll get the ticket on this one.
This intersection gets more than its share of serious accidents, a great percentage of them caused by people headed south on 101 still cruising 55 or better unaware of the traffic light ahead. As motorists rise over the hill they often face backed up traffic at the light. And if they’re speeding, there’s not a lot of time or distance to slow down.
As you can see from the picture below, as drivers mount the hill and start descending toward the intersection at 51st, the signal lights are down in a bowl, and often cannot be seen by those with traffic in front of them. ODOT does an excellent job of posting several GIANT 45MPH speed limit signs well to the north. But as you can also see in the photo, the “signal light” symbol sign is a bit dull. This sign and another one, just north of the intersection at 25th (Walmart), don’t exactly jump out at you as many ODOT signs do. These signs obviously have been out in the weather and road grit for some time. Perhaps a yellow flashing warning light (signal ahead) might be appropriate. Again, in the photo, there is a power pole just to the rear of the sign where electricity could be easily accessed. A flashing light would also add an extra margin of safety on those days/nights that it’s blowing rain or socked in with drizzle and fog which would make the signal light ahead difficult to seen at best.
We’ll check with ODOT in the morning to see what they think about it.