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Neighbors along Ritchie Marlboro Road tell off county officials following deadly crash

WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. 3/18/2023 Rafael Sanchez-Cruz

Prince George's County residents did not hold back their frustrations during a community forum on traffic safety following a deadly crash that killed a high school senior on March 7.

Parents called the traffic conditions surrounding Wise High School "a crisis" and demanded that county officials take urgent actions to avoid another death. 

Prince George's County Councilmember Wala Blegay hosted the event that included the Prince George's County Police and the Department of Public Works and Transportation. 

"There was four accidents in one week, one took the life of my daughter's best friend."

Chrystal Collins says her daughter, a senior at Wise High School, has been living with anxiety due to the traffic conditions surrounding her school. 

"There was four accidents in one week, one took the life of my daughter's best friend," said Collins to WUSA9. 

Cayliy Haygood, 18, died on the scene after the white BMW she was riding in crashed into the back of a landscaping trailer that was parked on Ritchie Marlboro Road.  The cause of March 7 crash is still under investigation. 

According to Prince George's County Police (PGCPD), at least three crashes were reported on the same roadway in less than 48 hours. 

"We need help bad. My daughter graduates in two months but I am afraid," said Collins who shared her testimony with the community. 

Councilmember Blegay told WUSA9 that she was concerned that residents in Upper Marlboro were told that safety studies were being conducted in the area to determine where change is needed, but changes were not evident to neighbors. "I am little concerned that people have been told things that have not been done," she said. 

Neighbors told officials they're frustrated with the decades-long issue. One woman told officials that she uses an orange towel to wave down drivers when they need to stop.

"We need lights all up and down Ritchie Marlboro Road because it is a fast lane and there is no stopping," said Blegay.

Residents agree that stop lights should be installed to reduce the speed in the area.

"Primarily we are extremely concerned with the speeding issue that Prince George's County has and part and parcel with the speeding, the number and type of accidents in the county," said the Director of the Department of Public Works and Transportation for Prince George's County, Michael D. Johnson.

Johnson says says extensive studies need to be conducted before drastic changes around Ritchie Marlboro Road are made.

Blegay says she is willing to present emergency legislation at the county level to get these projects moving quickly. 



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