Woman dies in accident at intersection

Published 5:00 am Friday, June 19, 2009

MONTICELLO – An automobile accident at one of the most dangerousintersections in Lawrence County left one woman dead after shecollided into an 18-wheeler Thursday afternoon.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer Sgt. RustyBoyd said Anna Mae Bilyeu, 85, of 32 J.M. Bilyeu Lane, New Hebron,was killed when she failed to yield while traveling north onFerguson Mill Road and struck an 18-wheeler traveling west onHighway 84. Boyd said Bilyeu struck the trailer on the left side,just behind the truck’s rear wheels, and was killed on impact.

Lawrence County Coroner Sidney Fortenberry said an autopsy wouldbe performed Friday to determine the exact cause of death, withdetails being released to Bilyeu’s family later that day. He saidshe was traveling alone in the vehicle.

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The Monticello Volunteer Fire Department’s Jaws of Life wereneeded to free Bilyeu from her vehicle.

Chief Robert Patterson said Bilyeu is the second person killedat the intersection this year, and there have been approximately 30accidents at the crossing since the Highway 84 bypass opened inmid-2006. He’s not sure why the intersection has become such adangerous one.

“You can see both ways,” he said. “The only thing I can figureis that you look one way and that center post in your car blocksthe view.”

Patterson said emergency and law enforcement officials arediscussing safety improvements, such as solar-powered red lightsthat will blink continually, for the intersection,.

“But I don’t even know if that will help,” he said. “It’s a messout there.”