New Sarpy intersection called “very dangerous”
The Thanksgiving Day crash in New Sarpy that claimed the life of 31-year-old Montz native Cedrick Victor has stirred many in his community to renew a push to have a red light installed where the accident took place, including one man who knows all too well the pain the Victor family is going through.
Rev. Albert Bailey, Pastor of St. Matthew Baptist Church in New Sarpy, lost his niece and her grandmother to an accident 12 years ago at the same location of Victor’s crash, near the intersection of Airline Hwy. and East Harding St. He’s started a petition to have a traffic light installed there, and he and others for the cause have been going door-to-door in the community to secure signatures.
“I’d like at least 1,000 signatures on it, and we want to try and get the state to do something about it because it’s just dangerous,” Bailey said.
It’s not the first time Bailey has made the attempt. After the death of his niece, he initially went to state officials to ask for the addition of a red light, but he was rebuffed.
“They told me it was too close to the light at Ormond subdivision,” Bailey said. “Nearly a quarter of a mile away … if you’re in Kenner, there’s a light up on every block. So to use an excuse like that is pretty sad.”
He said there is danger at that particular location because it can be hard to see oncoming traffic there, and it takes sharp focus to safely navigate.
He pointed to his own recent harrowing experience there.
“I had turned going toward LaPlace, and it’s a good thing the car that was coming was in the fast lane, because if it was in the slow (near) lane, I’d have never seen it,” he said. “I would have gone right out there and that car would have hit me.”
It’s also a very busy intersection, particularly when so many workers at the nearby plants and refineries get off of work.
“It passes through so fast … if you relax, all of a sudden, it’s right up on you. If you’re trying to get on Airline anytime between 3 and 5 in the afternoon, you’re in trouble,” Bailey said.
He noted a recent conversation he had with his wife about how he still wanted to push for a red light at the intersection, a talk that came just two days before Victor’s death.
“When that young man got killed, I said ‘that’s it,’ Bailey said.
“Years ago they told me it was too close to the light at Ormond subdivision. Nearly a quarter of a mile away. If you’re in Kenner, there’s a light up on every block.” – Rev. Albert Bailey
Sharon Green of Montz Community Outreach said she believes Victor represents the fourth fatality caused from a crash at the intersection, and she shares Bailey’s belief that something needs to be done before someone else is injured or worse.
“We’re just trying to bring awareness back to the issue. A traffic light is really needed there, so another life won’t be lost,” Green said.
On the day of his crash, Victor was driving a 2005 Camry north on East Harding St. approaching U.S. 61 when he apparently failed to yield at a stop sign, according to Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Melissa Matey. Victor’s car traveled into the path of a 2007 Pontiac G6 driven by 20-year-old Lawrence Ferrell III of River Ridge at approximately 3 p.m. that day. Victor was restrained by a safety belt, but was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Ferrell was treated for moderate injuries.
Montz Community Outreach held a candlelight vigil following the tragedy in order to raise awareness to the traffic light cause.
More than 100 people attended the event.