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Portsmouth plans to fix dangerous intersection after letter carrier killed in hit-and-run

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Posted at 4:53 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 18:42:27-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va.— Road rage has a different meaning for Portsmouth residents living near the intersection of Airline Boulevard and Caroline Avenue.

Neighbors are angry that crashes continue at the intersection despite outcry to city leaders and even an online petition.

The area has been called dangerous, and last year proved to be deadly when a USPS letter carrier was killed after a hit-and-run.

“I’m very upset,” said Valerie Kelly. “It’s a shame that a beautiful young woman had to lose her life. She left three kids and a husband."

Maggie White was a beloved US Postal Service worker who was killed on the job after a hit-and-run in September while crossing the intersection that’s infamous for crashes. Police are still looking for her killer; meanwhile, letter carriers still dodge cars while crossing the intersection where White was killed.

Kelly maintains White's memorial at the intersection. New decorations are out for Valentine’s Day.

“I’ve seen a wreck, after wreck, after wreck. I’ve seen near-misses - even myself trying to get across the street. Cars on the other side of Caroline will not even slow down,” said Kelly.

The City of Portsmouth says it took a close look at the intersection right after White was killed and finished their analysis in December. Portsmouth says it identified a potential solution based on that analysis and is now working to “identify the associated funding.”

The city says it hopes to secure funding by February, “with a plan for implementation to follow.”

Portsmouth did not say what change would be made or provide a deadline for the implementation.

Last year, News 3 documented how cars roll through the stop sign at Caroline Avenue. At that time, 22 crashes were reported in the area in five years.

Neighbor Maureen O’Donnell described living at the intersection as, “frustrating and very, very frightening.”

A car crashed into a pole a few weeks ago, missing O'Donnell’s home by just a few yards.

“That car could’ve literally went into my house. I could’ve been killed; my neighbors could’ve been killed… It could’ve really been a disaster, and still nothing's been done,” said O'Donnell.

After years of demanding action at the intersection, neighbors aren’t convinced change will come soon enough.

“It’s just a matter of time before there’s another disaster,” said O’Donnell.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Kelly.