BRIGHTON – After another deadly accident, a grieving family is petitioning city officials for help with getting a traffic light installed at a dangerous intersection.

Stanley “Nicco” Butler, a father of 7, was riding his motorcycle through Hwy. 51 at Woodlawn when the driver of an SUV hit and killed him. 


Family members say he was thrown 100 feet and sustained major injuries. He was airlifted to a Memphis hospital where he later died. 

“His death is not an isolated incident, but one of many that have occurred at this dangerous intersection over the past decade,” sister-in-law Lindsay Hudson said.

Stanley Butler, his wife, and children.

She has organized a petition directed at Brighton’s mayor and aldermen as well as the Tennessee Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center with the goal of having a traffic light installed. 

“The community has been crying out for change for years, begging city officials to install a traffic light at this perilous junction on Highway 51 and Woodlawn,” Hudson said. “Despite these pleas, our calls have fallen on deaf ears while lives continue to be lost and damaged.” 

Over the years, TDOT has conducted traffic studies at the intersection but has not yet determined a need for traffic safety measures beyond stop signs for traffic entering the highway. Hudson said TDOT supervisors have agreed to conduct a 24-hour study on the state highway. If approved, the town has to agree to installing it, pay for the permit, and agree to the upkeep.

First responders tend to Butler following the accident on Oct. 3, 2023.

She said TDOT officials told her an 8-hour study was conducted about a year and a half ago and narrowly missed the requirements. 

“At that point there had been no fatalities and that’s one of the main reasons it didn’t meet them, but now the fatality changes things.”

Hudson said data provided to her showed nearly 75 percent of reported accidents that have happened there since 2020 happened in daylight with no adverse weather conditions or lighting issues. 

“They want to see why people keep hitting each other in the same spot.”

Hudson said the cost of doing nothing is “simply too high.”

“It’s measured in human lives … it’s time we put an end to these preventable tragedies by installing a traffic light that will regulate traffic flow and ensure safer passage for all road users.”

To sign the petition, visit

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.


  1. If a light is put up. How do you justify the deaths that happen in the future as a result of the light being put up?

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