The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 15, 2012

Signs changed after highway death

By Brian Ojanpa
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO — The traffic death of a Mankato man Monday has prompted changes yet again to the Waseca highway intersection where the crash occurred.

By late Tuesday Minnesota Department of Transportation workers had re-tweaked traffic-control signage at the old Highway 14/Waseca County Road 27 intersection.

The site now has large “Cross traffic does not stop” signs attached to two oversized stop signs, and MnDOT information officer Rebecca Arndt said further modifications may be in order pending results of the State Patrol’s accident investigation.

Modifications had already been made — and unmade — at the intersection that has posed motorist safety problems ever since completion of a new Highway 14 bypass earlier this year decreased traffic along the old 14/County Road 27 corridor.

Fred Statz, 25, died about 8 p.m. Monday when the car he was driving and a semi collided at the intersection where, three days earlier, two of the four stop signs had been removed.

Arndt said they were removed because motorists were running the signs.

Previous modifications this year included flashing red warning lights, which were removed in late October in favor of adding the two additional stop signs that too often were ignored.