Family of Teen Killed in 2015 Crash React To New Traffic Light At Intersection

A new addition to a busy intersection in Grand Traverse County meant to make it safer.

It’s a new flashing beacon light is supposed catch the attention of drivers.

The intersection at Blair Townhall Road and M-37 is notorious for accidents in Grand Traverse County.

Tuesday’s new addition doesn’t just make a difference to drivers, but also the families who lost a loved one at the intersection.

“It came with the price of Kelsey.”

Many crashes at this intersection caught the eye of MDOT, but there’s only one that hits home for Julie Purchase.

The crash that killed her daughter Kelsey.

“She was beautiful, she was very energetic she was a people person, she loved her friends and family, she loved a lot of things she was complex she was 17.”

The Purchase family likes the idea of a new light at the intersection even Kelsey’s younger brother.

Julie Purchase says, “I said well they’re going to put a light up there by Kelsey’s accident and he said well really that’s awesome so I mean obviously it impacts my 11 year old so he thinks that it’s great news.”

The new addition is also an extra step to prevent anyone else from experiencing the same kind of loss.

“I think if maybe even a blinking light would fix that I don’t know to say what ifs but I know that’s my situation and I don’t want anybody else to have to go through losing a child in an accident it was something that could be prevented.”

And a part of her legacy.

“It’s a huge thing that Kelsey’s life brought attention to this intersection enough that they did do something about it,” says Julie.  

But for people nearby a flashing light just isn’t enough, especially during the Northwestern Michigan Fair.

Amanda Manning says, “I think the flashing light like I said will help draw attention that there is an intersection here but a stoplight might have made so people would have had to  slow down the blinking light does make people aware but it doesn’t slow people down I don’t think.”