SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — At the Chapman Highway and Pleasant Hill Road intersection in Sevier County, there have been 36 vehicle crashes since Jan. 1, 2019, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. That is higher than the average for similar intersections, officials said.
John Soter lives on the intersection. He has filmed multiple crashes on his security camera and said he is scared to come out of his house.
"It's horrible. I'm scared to come out of my road. I live here. I live on this corner," Soter said. "I'm extremely scared."
Souter said the problem started when GPS apps started sending people to Pigeon Forge from Chapman Highway through Pleasant Hill Road, a change that would shave 5 minutes off the total travel time.
Some cars end up in the creek on his property that runs along Chapman Highway.
"There are people here hurt every day," Soter said. "Just yesterday, it was two people in the creek. Last week, there was a motorcycle that wrecked"
A 10News investigation from 2019 found that between 2005 and 2019, more than three people died per mile on Chapman Highway, between Knoxville and Sevierville. That's a higher rate than Alcoa Highway and Kingston Pike.
Mark Nagi, a Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesperson, told 10News in a statement that in 2018 TDOT installed signs to warn drivers of an upcoming intersection.
He said the department's traffic office has a concept that marks pavement differentiating through-lanes from the median. It installs yellow, dotted lines connecting the yellow lines at each median opening, according to Nagi.
"Our traffic office will coordinate with Regional Leadership and Operations to identify alternative solutions and funding to reduce to number of crashes occurring at this intersection," Nagi said.