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Neighbors concerned after deadly crash on Nicholson Drive, wanting a stop to reckless driving

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BATON ROUGE - A tragic scene unfolded along Nicholson Drive on Saturday evening when two people were killed in a head-on collision.

Louisiana State Police said Stefan Valentine was heading south on Nicholson near Bluebonnet and crossed over the center line,, striking Claudette Holmes head-on. Both died at the scene. One other passenger was also injured.

Troopers say it's still unknown why Valentine crossed the center line. For people who live off Nicholson Drive, they say it's always been dangerous.

"I have to be on full alert, defensive driving," resident Alyssa Gonzalez said. She lives near where the crash happened and passed it on her way home.

"We saw the Air-med helicopter fly in and land and we assumed the worst. Of course it was the worst. It's so sad because it's totally avoidable."

She says it always feels risky leaving her home with her three children in the car, witnessing reckless driving nearly everyday.

"[Drivers] use the turning lanes that go in and out of the subdivisions as passing lanes, so you have to look in your mirrors. They use the shoulders to go around people. They are tailgating you all around Nicholson."

According to the City-Parish, a solution for Nicholson Drive is already in the works. The Nicholson Drive Project plans to expand from two lanes to four.

Gonzales was excited to hear a solution is coming. 

"Oh, that's amazing. We were not aware of that. We're very happy to hear that that's in the works."

The project will start with segment one from Brightside to Gourrier. Then segment two from Bluebonnet to Ben Hur Road, expanding Nicholson from two lanes to four and creating a pedestrian path.

This project will hopefully bring relief to Gonzalez and her family.

"It would give me peace of mind that I'll be able to pull out and not have to worry about someone tailgating me."


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