A stop sign at the intersection where an accident left an Oak Hill student brain dead was partially obstructed, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).
A photo circulating on social media shows tree branches covering a majority of the stop sign that police say Katie Maynus, 18, disregarded when her car collided with a semi tractor trailer June 20. Maynus was reportedly driving southbound on Butler Avenue and did not stop at the intersection with Indiana 18.
The photo includes a makeshift stop sign that residents in the area confirm was placed following the accident. At least four residents in the area, who asked to remain anonymous in fear of retribution, said the intersection sees frequent accidents.
To confirm the photo’s legitimacy, the Chronicle-Tribune asked open-ended questions about the intersection and the photo circulating on social media, and every resident provided information that matched.
Marion Mayor Jess Alumbaugh said the city is not sure who placed the makeshift sign there, but he said his office immediately called INDOT following the crash to alert them of the obstruction since INDOT is responsible for signage that intersects state-owned highways.
Alumbaugh said the city believes that it does not have jurisdiction over the tree that partially blocked the stop sign.
INDOT public relations representative Scott Manning confirmed that INDOT is in charge of placing and maintaining signage at state highway intersections, but he said that the tree in question is not on INDOT-owned property.
“Our maintenance team did confirm that the tree partially blocking the stop sign is outside of INDOT right-of-way,” Manning said in an email Friday.
Alumbaugh said the city street and maintenance department placed a yellow diamond sign, which alerts drivers that a stop sign is ahead, earlier this week.
Crews removed the tree branches, but homeowners in the area say they want to see the trees removed completely because of frequent accidents.
Every resident the Chronicle-Tribune interviewed said they see people run the stop sign daily, and the Chronicle-Tribune witnessed at least three people roll through the intersection within a one-hour span.
At least three trees lining the street show scars from previous accidents, and one home has chunks of cement missing from its steps, which multiple residents say occured from a crash.
Remnants of the crash, like medical gloves, car parts and wrappers, were still visible at the scene Thursday.
The Chronicle-Tribune is currently investigating the numerous complaints homeowners said have been made at the intersection. This story will be updated as more information is made available.