Fatal crash puts spotlight on dangerous Murfreesboro road

Two people were killed Tuesday night on Fortress Boulevard.
Neighbors are calling for a change after a crashed killed two people. WSMV's Michael Warrick reports.
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 8:25 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WSMV) - After two people were killed in a car crash on Fortress Boulevard in Murfreesboro, a nearby neighborhood is calling attention to how dangerous they feel the road has become.

Murfreesboro Police say in the last two years, 20 people have been injured in crashes on Fortress Boulevard. The most recent crash killed two people.

Tuesday night, investigators say 68-year-old Larry Pitts and Daniel “Austin” Dea, 38, died in a head-on collision.

The driver of the minivan carrying Pitts had crossed into oncoming traffic, hitting Dea’s truck head-on, according to police.

Lynn Pryor lives in a nearby subdivision and says speeding and distracted driving has been a chronic problem on Fortress.

“I’m amazed when I’m riding with somebody how often I’ll look over and see drivers with their phone right here while they’re driving,” Pryor said, holding his phone to his face. “It’s sad, but at the same time, it’s the way we drive, our bad habits, and it’s a challenge out there on Fortress.”

WSMV4 spoke to Pryor and some of his neighbors, who say they’d like to see a traffic light at the intersection of their neighborhood at Lazarus Way, and maybe more on Fortress it they could help slow people down on the five-lane road.

“It’s easy to get caught up in going faster than 40,” Pryor said. “A traffic light there would be ideal.”

The City of Murfreesboro says its traffic engineer will review a report from Tuesday night’s double fatality to see what could have contributed to it.

The traffic engineer will also likely look into the five-lane road, and what, if anything, can be done to improve safety, according to city officials.