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Couple pushes for safety improvements along Old Bingham Highway after losing grandchild in crash

Published: Monday, Feb. 13 2012 12:02 a.m. MST

A report suggests adding a traffic signal and a warning device at intersection of U-111 and Old Bingham Highway.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

WEST JORDAN — After losing their 2-year-old granddaughter in an automobile accident last week, a Salt Lake City couple is working to ensure safety improvements are made at a dangerous intersection.

Shauna and Scott Humphrey got a call Feb 6. saying their daughter and two grandchildren were in an accident at the intersection of U-111 and Old Bingham Highway. They were with them just minutes before.

"I buckled her in and I said, "I love you Ethne Sue," and she said, "I love you grandma," and they went on their way," Shauna Humphrey said.

Their daughter, Melissa, was attempting to make a left turn at the intersection to go south on U-111 when a cement truck collided with her vehicle. She was flown to University Hospital in critical condition, while her two children were transported to Primary Children's Medical Center. Seven-month-old Edward suffered bumps and bruises, but 2-year-old Ethne died as a result of her injuries.

"She was a fiesty, wonderful 2-year-old little girl who I will miss deeply," Shauna Humphrey said.

The Humphreys, along with friends, family and neighbors, contacted the Utah Department of Transportation to push for safety improvements at the intersection, and they soon received a response.

A report from the UDOT Salt Lake County project manager suggested adding a traffic signal and an advanced warning device placed before the signal for northbound traffic approaching the intersection.

"As you're going to make a left-hand turn there, you're pretty much making a blind turn," Scott Humphrey said. "As you're heading north and heading up that hill, you're really blind to what's at that intersection."

The Humphreys said they will continue to work until those changes are implemented.

"We will stay with it until something is done," Shauna Humphrey said. "Even if it doesn't happen by mid-year, even if something isn't done, they will be tired of us."

Email: slenz@desnews.com; hschwarz@desnews.com

Twitter: saralenz

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