A section of Highway 51 South in Brighton was closed Tuesday night following an accident that sent a five-year-old to the hospital.
Brighton Police Chief Mike Durham said the accident took place at approximately 4:15 p.m., just prior to the evening rush hour traffic, at Woodlawn Road.
"A lady was crossing from Woodlawn onto 51 and said the sun was in her eyes," Durham said. "She pulled out and struck a southbound car."
In that vehicle was five-year-old girl who was ejected from vehicle and airlifted to Memphis.
"I don't know how she was ejected with being in a booster seat," he said.
The child was treated and released, sustaining only minor injuries.
Some Brighton residents – even the police chief himself – say the intersection is much too dangerous and something needs to be done to keep motorists safe.
"We have an accident there about every four or five months," Durham said. "They're usually just fender benders, but when you have a bad one, there are usually serious injuries."
Covington resident Anita Naifeh was seriously injured in a June 2009 wreck at the same intersection. She spent several weeks hospitalized.
"It's a very dangerous intersection. We have three or four factors that cause most of the accidents: the sun's real bright at that time of day, the driver isn't paying attention, you can't tell the speed of the other vehicle and blind spots," the chief continued. "If you turn at a certain angle, the bar that goes down from the passenger side window to the windshield blocks your view and you can't see what's coming."
Following that accident and prompted by the media, in 2009, the Tennessee Department of Transportation conducted a study to determine the feasibility of putting a red light at Woodlawn and Hwy. 51.
"A red light would be good for this area … but the state won't put one there," he said. "The last time TDOT came out, they put signs up and repainted the white lines in the median."
Brighton Mayor Jeff Scott said there are talks of closing the intersection down altogether.
The TDOT study conducted in 2009 reported no fatal accidents had occurred at Woodlawn since 2003 and that 53 crashes had been reported at the intersection in a six-year time period.
"This is a really bad intersection," said Brandy Halsey. "Someone's gonna die here. You can't see in certain spots."