Community petition created demanding change following 16-year-old’s death

Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 10:08 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Making our roads a safer place should be a priority for every driver.

Another fatal accident has caused members of the community to start a petition to install flashing stop signs at the intersection of LA 397 and Gauthier Road.

A two-way stop at an intersection of Gauthier Road and Louisiana 397 claimed the life of 16-year-old Philip Conner earlier this week.

A petition was started soon after by Zachary Broussard, trying to bring attention to how dark the area gets at night, and to possibly get flashing stop signs to the intersection.

“That intersection, and all the intersections down there, have been since Laura, pitch black every time you drive down there, and I just thought his death could have been avoided and it’s just a small cheap change that they could make that would save other people,” Broussard said.

So far, the petition has over 4,500 signatures agreeing with Broussard that change is needed to be made at the intersection.

“I was just trying to raise awareness for it. I was emailing the mayor and the traffic engineer, and I felt like if I had more signatures and more proof that people were supporting it they’d be more likely to listen to it,” Broussard said.

Bonnie Thompson lives close to where the accident took place.

“By all means, it’s very dark out here (at night) and even though you often travel the roads, sometimes you forget, due to the fact you have a traffic light, then a four way stop and here it’s a two way,” Thompson said.

The family of Phillip Conner know the petition exists, but they hope that the people who knew Phillip will remember him for his life and love for others, not how he left this world.

If any changes were made at this intersection, it would be a combined effort of parish and state officials, according to the Department of Transportation.