Drivers lament "poorly planned" highway exit after trucker plunges off overpass

Drivers lament "poorly planned" highway exit after trucker plunges off overpass

You could hear the bone-rattling sounds of a semi-truck being pulled off an overpass early Monday morning; its cab, with the driver inside, had already plunged to the highway below.

They were sobering sights and sounds for any driver. But for those familiar with the Iron Horse Blvd. exit off Northeast Loop 820 in North Richland Hills, they were sadly not surprising.

"In your neighborhood, in this community, is that known for being a confusing intersection?" we asked Rodney Woods, who has lived in NRH for decades.

"Absolutely," he responded.

Woods says of all the highway exits in the area, the design of the Iron Horse exit is the worst.

Along with handfuls of Facebook users and WFAA viewers Monday, he complained that you can't tell which traffic lights are for which drivers. The lanes are confusing, he adds. And if you try to go straight when exiting off the high-speed express lane, you're met by a concrete wall; it's the same wall the truck flew over Sunday night.

People who live in this area are quick to point out this is not the first time a wreck like this has happened here; in December 2015, three people died after plunging off the very same overpass.

"I would think that having multiple wrecks there, that it would logically come to somebody's attention that's familiar with the design," Woods says.

Turns out, it has.

Robert Hinkle, with the North Tarrant Express Mobility Partners, gave this statement to News 8:

"NTE Mobility Partners (NTEMP) has been working with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the City of North Richland Hills to analyze and implement additional safety improvements at the Iron Horse exit... over the past several months we have implemented multiple safety upgrades at the location, including installing rumble strips at both the beginning of the westbound exit lane and at the off ramp, installing signal ahead signs on both sides of the off ramp, installing “Stop Here On Red” signs, and installing a large double arrow directional sign at the end of the off ramp."


"I just don't think it was thought out clearly," Woods says of the exit's design.

He, and others, are calling for even more changes.

A bit of good news: NRHPD says the truck's driver was being released from the hospital Monday.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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