After multiple deaths on Rt. 52 within weeks, crackdown begins - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

After multiple deaths on Rt. 52 within weeks, crackdown begins

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After two deadly car accidents happen within less than a mile of each other and within just weeks of each other, Mercer County Sheriff's Deputies are doing something about it.

We caught up with deputies patrolling vigilantly to make Route 52 safer.

Two weeks ago, two pre-school aged children died along Rt. 52 in a three-car accident. Monday night, a vehicle plowed through a home less than a mile from Rt. 52, killing a man.

"I know on the dual-fatality accident, based on the damage to the vehicle that it sustained, that speed would have been a factor," said Woods.

In Monday night's deadly accident, deputies told us cell phone usage and speed were both factors, and Sgt. Woods said that's exactly what they're cracking down on now.

"It's the Governor's Highway Traffic Safety Program, our regional representative is Dean Capehart out of Beckley. Dean has been really good at providing additional funding for a safe and sober Rt. 52 to make people aware that we are cracking down on people driving drunk and driving distracted with a cell phone and people driving aggressively," he told us.

Deputies said so far in 2014, they've given over 500 traffic citations along Rt. 52 and US 460 from people speeding, driving under the influence and talking or texting on the phone while driving. Sgt. Woods explained why Rt. 52 is so dangerous.

"It's terrain is irregular, we have a lot of access points such as shopping centers, additional roadways that enter it. The speed fluctuates from 55 prior to Bluewell on the north side. Through Bluewell it's 35, when you exit Bluewell it goes to 35 the remainder of the way," Woods said.