Family of Highway 45 crash victims turn emotion into call for action

Mobile County

MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Highway 45 is the deadliest highway in Alabama, according to data and Rep. Shane Stringer (R-Mobile).

Roadside memorials remind the average passers-by that people — real people — are victims in these crashes. But their loved ones don’t need flowers, candles, stuffed animals or crosses to be reminded of the pain. They feel it every minute.

Like Hannah Wright’s grandparents.

“She was such a little fireball,” said her grandmother Liz Outlaw. “Our heart… part of our heart is missing,” she continued, through tears.

Wright passed away on March 12. She was a passenger in a car driven by fellow Baker High School Student Rene Nguyen. Police say they didn’t stop at a stop sign at the intersection of University and Highway 45.

Outlaw says it’s a dangerous spot.

“First of all, we would love to see lights put up out there, flashing lights. We want to see the stop sign, but we also want a stop sign prior to that indicating that you’re coming up on a stop sign,” she said. She’s been in contact with ALDOT about what can be done.

She and her husband are now more hopeful for change, knowing Rep. Stringer is taking up the cause.

“They’ve got to understand, there’s been a lot of lives that have been lost and a lot of people that are affected,” said Stringer about ALDOT and Gov. Kay Ivey’s office. He’s in touch with both about widening Highway 45.

Hannah Wright’s family isn’t the only one struggling.

Loved ones of the Dunns held a funeral for Jerry, 28, his wife Alexsis, 21, and their baby Valerie, 9 months, on Friday. They died when a woman, who was chasing another car, sped, crossed the center line, and hit them.

Both families want to see safety measures taken to prevent this from happening to someone else.

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