Dangerous road now not so dangerous

Dangerous road now not so dangerous
YAKIMA, Wash. -- It's a stretch of highway a lot of you drive every day. State Route 24 between I-82 and Moxee. Washington State Patrol labeled it a serious problem area two years ago.

Scanning State Route 24, Angela Gomez remembers the time she almost got hit.

"I got cut off a couple times to the point where I had to completely stop," said Gomez.

A close call. Washington State Patrol says they happen here far too often. So do actual accidents caused by speeding.

"2011, we saw a pretty big spike on State Route 24 in that area," said Washington State Patrol Sergeant Matt Couchman.

Sgt. Couchman says that problem area is SR-24 between the interstate and milepost 5. Troopers saw accidents spike in 2011. But, it was already a dangerous place. In the six years prior, there were 20 serious injury accidents that killed three people.

"It was abnormally high, so we deployed the saturation philosophy to it," said Sgt. Couchman.

That's a police term for increased patrols. In 2012, WSP put two troopers along that stretch for at least two hours a day.

"They'll realize there's cops watching this place too," said Angela. "Not just the city area but also out here."

The vigilance paid off. Accidents along that section dropped by nearly a quarter in just one year.

A relief to drivers like Angela, who rely on troopers and defensive driving to keep those close calls at bay.

"Have to really look out for other people," said Angela. "Not just yourself."

We also wanted to know if those increased patrols will continue. Sergeant Matt Couchman says no, but the area won't be abandoned.

Right now, troopers are focusing on other problem spots like Highway 12 from North First street to 40th Avenue.