Drivers experience some element of danger every time they hit the road, but some stretches traveled in the Big Country are almost infamous for causing injury.
The Big Country’s only Interstate, I-20, is one of the most notorious and most deadly of these roads. A total of 3,940 wrecks have been reported on I-20 in the counties of Taylor, Callahan, and Eastland from January 1, 2010 through April 28, 2016, according to TxDOT.
There are several spots on I-20 where accidents frequently occur, but two in particular, the “Merkel Triangle” and “Ranger Hill” are spots that drivers travel through with care.
The “Merkel Triangle” is a section of I-20 that stretches from Tye to Trent in Taylor County, and TxDOT statistics suggest this road could be as dangerous as it seems.
There were 392 crashes that took place on I-20 in Taylor County in 2015 and five of those crashes were fatal. 364 crashes took place in 2014, 355 in 2013, 314 in 2012, and 194 in 2011.
“Ranger Hill” on I-20 gives Eastland County a dangerous track record as well. TxDOT reports there were 231 crashes on I-20 in Eastland County in 2015, 178 in 2014, 199 in 2013, 172 in 2012, and 105 in 2011.
Truck driver Richard Jones has a lot of experience traveling roads across the country, and he says the size of the lanes on I-20 could be contributing to the number of crashes.
“Now as a truck driver, I would say that I-20 is very small. The lanes are small because the fact because the vehicles passing you are very close.,”Jones claims.
US 277 that runs through Haskell, Jones, Nolan, Runnels, and Taylor Counties in the Big Country has a bad reputation as well. TxDOT data shows 719 wrecks have happened on US 277 in the Big Country from January 1, 2010 through April 21, 2016.
There is a section of the road near Coronado’s Camp in Taylor County that locals know as “Dead Man’s Curve”.
TxDOT statistics says 73 crashes happened on US 277 in Taylor County in 2015. 90 happened in 2014, 104 in 2013, 69 in 2012, and 51 in 2011.
Haskell County has the next most dangerous stretch of US 277 with 30 wrecks that happened in 2015, 40 in 2014, 29 in 2013, 8 in 2012, and 16 in 2011.
The last dangerous stretch of road KTAB investigated is US 83 which crosses through a large portion of the Big Country that includes Jones, King, Runnels, Stonewall, and Taylor Counties. 2,817 wrecks have happened on US 83 in these counties from January 1, 2010 through April 21, 2016, according to TxDOT. A staggering 2,239 of these happened in Taylor County.
TxDOT reports 438 wrecks happened in 2015, 439 in 2014, 390 in 2013, 314 in 2012, and 269 in 2011. US 83 in Jones County also experiences a high frequency of traffic incidents with 60 in 2015, 72 in 2014, 57 in 2013, 46 in 2012, and 45 in 2011.