CANYON COUNTY -- A stretch of road on the Canyon-Payette county line is due for improvements. In the past seven years, there have been nearly a dozen accidents at the intersection of Highway 20/26 and Highway 95, known by most as Anderson Corner.
Two years ago, Anderson Corner was the site of a fatal car crash. 16-year-old Sloane Weldon, from Weiser and her passengers Rebeka Cole, 16, and Elisabeth Cole, 17, were pronounced dead at the scene.
The fourth person in the car, 16-year-old Benson Richardson, was seriously injured. He suffered brain trauma and broke his wrist, ribs, collar bone, jaw and eye socket. His parents, Marilyn and Kirk, feel blessed their son survived. They said after his crash, they heard of many more accidents at Anderson Corner.
We had a lot of people tell us of near accidents that wouldn't have been reported, but they missed the stop sign, and luckily no one was there to hit them, said Marilyn Richardson. But a lot of people could have been in that same situation if a car had been coming.
It seems like there was a lot of work that could have and should have been done beforehand, said Kirk Richardson.
The crash that injured Benson Richardson is one of a number of crashes the Idaho Department of Transportation documented at Anderson Corner.
There's been 11 accidents since '06 out there, said Reed Hollinshead, with ITD. But certainly the fatal one, that really raises a red flag.
ITD said Nunhems USA, which sits on Anderson Corner, contacted them in May to get the project started. Nunhems is contributing $75,000.
Adding the turn lane, the northbound turn lane, and extending the southbound acceleration lane by a quarter mile, we think those will make all the difference in the world right there, said Hollinshead.
I just hope that with more things there to warn people and make it a safer corner, that this will never happen again, said Marilyn. And whether it's kids out or a family, I would hate to see anyone else hurt there when it could be prevented.
The Richardsons hope the improvements will prevent tragedies, like the one that July night. They think the Weldon and Cole families would feel the same.
I think they'd be happy that improvements are being made, said Kirk. I can't imagine them not feeling that way. And probably wish that maybe some had happened before or earlier.
ITD does not know the exact cost of the project because they have not put the bid out to a contractor. They are estimating the improvements will cost half a million dollars. Construction is set to begin in September.