Petition seeks warning sign ahead of Foursquare Road intersection where fatal crash occurred

Published 5:05 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

An Isle of Wight County woman is petitioning the Virginia Department of Transportation to install a flashing warning sign at the intersection of Courthouse Highway and Foursquare Road, where a two-vehicle crash claimed the life of a Newport News woman on Dec. 12.

“Although I did not know the lady who lost her life there earlier this week, it really hurt my heart,” said petition organizer Brenda Gafford. “People often talk about that intersection, but it was just put in my spirit to do something.”

Gafford, a former resident of the rural neighborhood who now lives in Isle of Wight’s Carrollton area, still has family living a few houses down from the intersection. Her petition, which asks that a flashing warning sign be placed at least a quarter-mile ahead of the intersection, had garnered 53 signatures as of Dec. 15.

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“People often speak of near misses there too,” Gafford said.

Virginia State Police say the Dec. 12 crash occurred when 63-year-old Yvonne Howell Higgs of Newport News ran a stop sign while traveling east on Foursquare Road, also known as Route 620, and collided with a 2015 Bay Disposal dump truck traveling south on Courthouse Highway, also known as Route 258. The truck T-boned Higgs’ car on the driver’s side.

Gafford’s cousin Larry Artis still lives on Foursquare Road and contends the stop sign at the intersection “sits way to the right of the road.”

It isn’t very visible, particularly to motorists unfamiliar with the area, Artis said.

Gafford said tractor trailers frequently use the road as a shortcut to Smithfield from the four-lane Route 460.

“It’s just dangerous, I mean even for me; I struggle coming out of there every day,” Artis said.