TDOT highlights road improvements after fatal 50-car pileup - WSMV Channel 4

TDOT highlights road improvements after fatal 50-car pileup

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HENDERSONVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Nearly one year has passed since freezing fog caused a massive 50-car pileup on Vietnam Veterans Boulevard that killed two people, injured several others and tied up traffic for hours.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has been working to make sure a tragedy like that never happens again, so TDOT made some major changes to that busy stretch of highway.

"We just wanted to make sure that everything about that road was visible," said TDOT spokeswoman Beth Emmons.

Four separate wrecks that all happened within the span of a few minutes Dec. 1, 2011, on Vietnam Vets, beginning roughly at the bridge over Gallatin Road and ending close to the Saundersville Road exit, ended in catastrophe.

Newlywed Paul Warren died when his car ran under a truck, and James Ziegler died the next day.

Officials pointed to thick fog and black ice as factors in the crashes.

Now, the first thing drivers notice as they approach that stretch of road are freeze warning signs.

TDOT also installed more chevron curve signs so drivers are able to better gauge the curve in the road.

"We've restriped it," Emmons said. "We've also put reflective stripes on the sidewalls and guard rails, and the signs are even bigger. They are supersized, you could say."

Of course, driving responsibly in difficult weather conditions will also help prevent wrecks.

TDOT began working on these changes shortly after the investigation was complete, and all of the work was completed during the summer.

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