String of deadly crashes result in extra patrols on IE's Ramona Expressway

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018
String of deadly crashes result in extra patrols on Ramona Expressway
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Amid increasing concern over accidents on the Inland Empire's Ramona Expressway, state and local officials are studying ways to improve traffic safety.

NUEVO, Calif. (KABC) -- You don't have to look too hard to find a roadside memorial along the Inland Empire's Ramona Expressway.

"I think me and my brother counted 40 something just the other day from where we start to where we get off," said Deana Brood.

Locals have come to dub the dubious stretch of roadway Blood Alley.

"You've got people passing you on the shoulder, people passing head-on on the one-lane bridge," said Katie-Jane Martinez.

The Nuevo resident reached out to ABC7 using the hashtag #abc7eyewitness after growing frustrated with the mounting death toll.

"We are the main thoroughfare from San Jacinto-Hemet area to Moreno Valley Riverside area and the 215 and people use it to commute back and forth to work," said Martinez.

The traffic is especially problematic where the roadway narrows to just one lane in each direction.

Just in the last week, there have been three deadly head-on collisions. One involving a stolen pickup truck that slammed into another car killing that driver.

The California Highway Patrol has stepped up patrols in the area.

"It is a problem - we are definitely hearing the residents and we do want to make it a safer road to travel on," said Officer Dan Olivas with the Riverside division of the CHP.

While residents welcome the extra patrols they also want some long-term solutions.

"We want to see more lanes, some k-rails down the center to end these head-on collisions," said Martinez.

The Riverside County Transportation Department says it is looking into widening the roadway to four lanes. For now they are working with the CHP on enhanced safety zones where fines would be double.