Easton junction gets safety aids after bus crash


EASTON -- Six months after a school bus driver was killed and two dozen students were injured when a tractor-trailer barreled through a fog-shrouded intersection, state highway and Talbot County school officials have agreed on a series of safety improvements.

Work crews installed rumble strips yesterday on the westbound lanes of U.S. 50 at the Dutchman's Lane intersection. By the end of next week, a new overhead sign will begin flashing a warning to motorists that they are entering a congested area.

By early July, state highway officials expect to have planted landscaping in the median -- a "calming" method they say has proved effective in slowing highway traffic entering urban areas.

The busy Dutchman's Lane intersection is east of Easton's commercial strip and motorists approaching from the open countryside might not realize they are entering a town.

"When we first started looking at possible solutions, we called ourselves a working study group, and we will continue that," said Richard Lindsay, the State Highway Administration's district engineer for the Upper Shore.

"We'll meet again in September and lowering the speed limit from 50 mph will be the main topic of discussion," he said. "We want to see how effective these other methods are first."

Sam Meek, Talbot's superintendent of schools, said all 27 children who were injured last Halloween in the early-morning crash that took the life of 61-year-old bus driver Wardell Brice Sr. have returned to classes.

"Some are continuing to deal with physical problems, some with the emotional toll, others seem to be doing well," Meek said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to complete its report on the accident in December, Lindsay said.

Pub Date: 5/01/98

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