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TxDOT Has No Plans To Add Barriers To Highway 6 After Fatal Crash

Investigators are looking into whether drugs or alcohol played a role in a deadly accident on Highway 6 in Robertson County.

According to DPS, 47-year-old Jon Ratliff of Waco died after crashing his Mustang into the side of a tractor trailer yesterday between Bryan and Hearne.

Investigators say the Mustang swerved into oncoming traffic and hit the semi, shutting down highway traffic for several hours.

Those lanes have since re-opened.

The driver of the tractor trailer, who is from Bryan, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and has since been released.

Tuesday's crash is just the latest in a series of deaths along Highway 6.

According to TxDOT 12 people have died on Highway 6 between Hearne and OSR from 2008 to present. Three of those deaths happened in 2012.

News 3 took a look at some of the technology available to prevent these kinds of crashes. But nothing is happening yet.

Crosses and flowers serve as standing reminders on one of the Brazos Valley's deadliest stretches of roadway; Highway 6 between Hearne and OSR in Robertson County.

And another life was lost Tuesday.

"It's getting really bad," said Dan Swick, who is a lifelong Robertson County resident and manages the Cefco Convenience Store in Hearne.

Swick wants a safer road.

"It's a shame when you see traveling on this highway and all you see is crosses on the side of the highway where accidents have happened," Swick added.

Tamica Carroll lives in Hearne, and drives this stretch of roadway two to three times a week.

"I'm kind of scared to drive because you never know it could be somebody that you know crashed into you and nothing you can do when you see it coming head on and you are going 70 miles," said Carroll, who also manages the Subway in Hearne.

As the death toll continue to rise there's still no plans to make Highway 6 safer, because there's not enough funding.

"Money's a big issue but what's more important money or lives?,"Swick questioned.

Video from the Texas Transportation Institute demonstrates the technology that could make this stretch safer including concrete barriers, to even wire barricades and guardrails.

But the road would have to be widened to make those changes.

Something the State hasn't set aside money to do.

For Dan Swick the signs of death are a shame.

"Too many crosses, too many crosses. I just hope everybody drives safely," Swick said.

Driving a stretch of roadway haunted by high speed crashes.

TxDOT says a barrier system is not in the works, but has added rumble strips to alert drivers drifting out of their lanes.

It also resurfaced this area in recent years to provide better traction for vehicles traveling in wet weather.


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