FAIRBURN, Ga – A Fairburn man is pushing for change at a busy intersection after losing his wife to a violent accident.
“The suddenness of it is what was so devastating,” says Tommy Sheats.
It’s been nearly a year since his wife of 44 years left home for a routine trip to the store. While attempting to make a left turn onto Highway 138, Shirley Sheats was struck by another driver who Fairburn Police say was traveling 92-miles-per-hour.
“It has changed our lives completely,” says Sheats. “We will never forget her.”
Highway 92 and Highway 138 come to a “T” in the city of Fairburn. Police Chief Anthony Bazydlo says drivers on that section of 138 routinely travel 25-miles-an-hour over the speed limit.
He supports the family's push for change.
“I think a traffic signal would be hugely effective in slowing down,” says Chief Bazydlo. “People need to get used to slowing down.”
The family reached out to the city of Fairburn last May. City leaders contacted the Georgia Department of Transportation, who promised a study of the intersection.
A GDOT spokesperson tells us engineers are now in the midst of a study to determine if a traffic signal is the best move.
“Sometimes signals create bigger problems than they correct,” says GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale. “So, we have to be careful. We go through a very detailed checklist.”
Fairburn police say there have been 71 accidents at the intersection over the past 5 years.
“If there's anything in the world we can do to prevent anyone else from having to suffer, that’s what we want to do,” says Tommy Sheats.