LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Laurel County family devastated by a tragic accident is now fighting for a change.
Gloria Engle, 72, was taking her 8- and 14-year-old grandchildren to school Friday morning, but they never made it home. All three were killed in a crash while trying to cross Kentucky Highway 80 on Kentucky Highway 1535 east of Bernstadt.
"My mother was a healthy woman. She should have lived years longer. This should have never happened. Those babies, they had years to go," said Phyllis Smith, Engle's daughter and the aunt to the two children killed.
Smith said the car her mother, niece, and nephew had been in was completely destroyed. Now, Engle's family wants to make sure that no one else experiences the pain they went through. They say that too many lives have been lost on this stretch of road.
"You couldn’t see anything. The sun was horrible that morning, and you can’t get through there and the evening is even worse, because they have the industrial park workers leaving and coming through at the same time school is letting out," said Engle's niece Peggy Wagner.
The family is supporting an online petition seeking to have a traffic light added to that intersection. They say it would be a small price to pay to save lives. You can sign that petition here.
"There’s no excuse for these children having to die because of these factories and the state not doing what they’re supposed to do in the first place. We should not be suffering like this," Smith told LEX 18 through her tears.
LEX 18 reached out to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. A District 11 spokesperson tells LEX 18 that they will be conducting a traffic engineering study at the intersection in the near future to review site conditions, traffic volumes and crash history. He said that they will look at the possibility of adding a traffic signal, an intersection beacon, and other measures to make the roadway safer if they deem it necessary.