Barton County Sheriff's Office to enhance enforcement at concerning intersection

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) - Two bad accidents in the span of two months have happened at 30 Road and Washington Avenuenorth of Great Bend. 

One of them were fatal, while the other left a 91-year-old man injured.

“Everybody tries to speed through there to get off of 281 onto Washington, but hopefully they’ll take some type of action,” said Dave Haberman, son of the 91-year-old man who was injured on Monday. 

Community members, led by the mother of the teen killed last month, have asked Barton County for a four-way stop.

However, Barton County Engineer Barry McManaman said not enough traffic goes through the intersection for the county or Kansas Department of Transportation to add additional safety signs. 

“You need to have approximately 210 vehicles per hour on Washington Avenue and that’s during the highest eight hours of the day,” he said. “At that time of the study, the counts were only around an average of 160 vehicles.” 

Even though not enough vehicles pass through the intersection to prompt additions, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said they would step in. 

“I’m going to assign deputies to selective enforcement when they have time to go there,” Bellendir said. 

“Just our presence out there many times is enough to help with some of the violations,” added Bellendir. "Too much is going on and cars and people aren’t paying enough attention to their driving.” 

County officials said they are asking drivers to put away the distractions when they’re driving and be aware of other drivers. 

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