Family says Conway intersection remains unsafe years after daughter’s deadly crash

US 501, Cox Ferry Road intersection continues to be dangerous

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – It’s been called one of the worst intersections, not just in the city of Conway or Horry County, but in the whole state.

Crashes are nothing new at the intersection of Highway 501 and Cox Ferry Road. Numbers released by the city of Conway show that from 2017 to 2019, over 100 accidents occurred in the area each year. One of those in 2019 was fatal.

The most recent crash happened on Wednesday when police and firefighters responded to a three-vehicle crash that blocked all southbound lanes.

One Horry County family knows first-hand the dangers of the intersection. The Norris family lost their daughter Desiree in a crash at the intersection while she was on her way to her first day of class at Horry-Georgetown Technical College more than 10 years ago.

Since then, the family has pushed to make the intersection safer, which included stoplights. The Norris family fought continuously to get them installed after Desiree’s death.

They also set up a white cross to not only honor Desiree’s memory but to be a reminder to drivers if they’re not careful.

But now, that white cross is no longer at the intersection after they said it was knocked over in another crash.

“We were actually coming home from vacation and noticed I had looked over and didn't see it. And then my husband’s like, ‘Oh it was on the ground, it was knocked over,’” said Desiree’s mother, Debbie Norris.

The family said they don’t know who is responsible for tearing down the white cross, but Debbie said they won’t be putting up a new one.

"It could be more of a distraction to people if they're seeing that. And I would rather not have a distraction for the drivers,” Debbie said.

Taylor Newell, a spokesperson for the city of Conway, said they are discussing with the South Carolina Department of Transportation ways to make the intersection safer. Newell said SCDOT has been “receptive.”

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