Highway 9 In Norman Earns Dangerous, Deadly Reputation
NORMAN, Oklahoma - A central Oklahoma highway is earning a dangerous reputation after a string of accidents. Drivers are calling a stretch of Highway 9 in Norman a death trap.
On Monday night, that highway claimed its latest victim. The crash killed a woman when she was ejected from her car.
News 9 is learning that her death is not the only death in recent years. Other families are grieving along Highway 9. In just more than five miles, ten crosses can be counted along the dangerous stretch of road.
911 calls on Monday documented the frightening moments before the latest crash.
"Oh God have mercy," said one caller to a 911 operator as the caller witnessed reckless driving on Highway 9. "Oh here we go again. He is going completely in the other lane."
The 911 calls from Monday night were made just moments before Safari McDoulett was killed. Witnesses say McDoulett was killed when reckless driver Mark Peters slammed into her car.
"It's a dangerous highway," nearby worker Jessica Edwards said.
Edwards works at a business along Highway 9 and says she has seen too many crashes.
"There are all different types of crashes between the hills and the blind curves … people passing in [no passing] zones … people get hit a lot," Edwards said.
Volunteer firefighter Travis Kinsey is no stranger to the aftermath of a car accident.
"I've been a volunteer fireman for close to 18 years, and I see a lot of them," Kinsey said. "When you see the crosses and stuff, it brings back memories."
Since January of 2010, Norman police say there have been 22 collisions along a 2-mile stretch of Highway 9 where McDoulett was killed Monday. That stretch of road centers on Highway 9 and 120th Avenue S.E. in Norman.
Police say there were a total of three fatalities for all of Highway 9 during the same time period.
"There are smaller crosses [on Highway 9]," Edwards said. "[There are] places where you can tell a kid had passed away, and it's heartbreaking after seeing it so many times. You notice new ones."
The speed limit on the stretch of road is anywhere between 45 mph to 65 mph Motorists tell News 9 it is not uncommon for drivers to flirt with 70 mph in the 45 mph zones.
Police arrested Mark Peters for causing the most recent crash on complaints of first-degree manslaughter, obstructing an officer and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.