MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — What started as a hashtag has now evolved into a grassroots movement in Montgomery County to get a traffic light up at an deadly intersection.
Sixteen-year-old Emilee Collins was killed at the Spencer Ln bypass near Indian Mound Drive in Mt. Sterling on Friday. She was just a junior in high school, a classmate, a friend, and a daughter. The hashtag #trafficlightatSpencer began to pick up steam on social media.
Emilee's classmate Miranda Ledford decided to turn that movement into a petition drive.
"That could have easily happened to me, that could have happened to my mom, that could have happened to anybody, and it's just ironic to me that things like this have happened so many times and nothing's got done about it," said Ledford.
At the very same intersection, two crosses sat just feet away from Emilee's. They pay tribute to the lives that were lost at the same spot. In 10 years, the Montogomery Sheriff's Office says 16 injury accidents and 2 fatalities have occurred there.
"It's bad enough that the first person wrecked and died there. But then the second person and then it just keeps adding up over time," said Ledford.
Surprised and upset that nothing had been done before now, Ledford and a few high school friends decided that they would try to do something and created the petition drive. As of Tuesday, it had more than 3,500 signatures.
"If we have that there for her, it's gonna be like, you know, this is one of our people, we're a really small town so when something like this happens if, like, all of us, whether we knew them or whatever. And I was like it'd be something really good to look and you know maybe give her parents a little peace of mind like you know this isn't gonna happen to the next child that's coming through here," said Ledford.
Matthew Martin, who lives at the intersection, agreed.
"I think it'd be safer, because like I said there's school there, be safer on the kids. I've seen what happened. You know there was, that should never happen, that was sad. But if we had a stoplight, you know, you can control all that a little bit more. Like it is now, obviously it ain't working," said Martin.
The process for getting a stop light put up isn't as simple as getting enough signatures on a petition. That would be just a start. A petition is generally seen as a way to communicate a dissent or complaint to a higher authority. The decision would ultimately be up to the county leaders.