Intersection of Belle Isle Boulevard and Northwest Expressway is the worst in Oklahoma City for accidents

An intersection in northwest Oklahoma City was fatal for a motorcycle rider on Sept. 2. A similar accident happened at the same intersection a week later and one woman witnessed both by chance.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY rmedley@opubco.com Modified: September 29, 2012 at 1:07 am •  Published: September 29, 2012

“It was jarring,” Rodgers said. “The first couple of days after I saw it, I had trouble sleeping. I just feel horribly bad for the person who was killed.”

One week after Steele's death, about 1 p.m. Sept. 9, Rodgers saw another motorcycle rider come off the same westbound I-44 ramp and collide with a car that turned right from Northwest Expressway and into his path. It was the exact same spot where Adam Steele was fatally injured.

The second motorcyclist was not killed, but he was lying on the ground when Rodgers drove by the scene.

“It looked like to me it had happened again,” Rodgers said.

The intersection is dangerous and needs improvement, she said.

“I do try to avoid that intersection now.”

Dangerous intersections

The intersection has had the highest number of accidents in Oklahoma City in the past three years, according to data provided by the state Transportation Department.

Stuart Chai, Oklahoma City traffic engineer, said city officials continue to look at ways to improve traffic flow in the area. About 35,000 vehicles a day pass through the intersection, he said.

Seven of the 10 intersections with the most accidents in Oklahoma City are along a six-mile stretch of Northwest Expressway, from the Belle Isle Boulevard intersection on the east to the Rockwell Avenue intersection on the west.

That is because of the high volume of traffic on the expressway, coupled with frequent stops and turns, Chai said.

Jennifer Steele said she is not angry at Argue, and she knows her husband's death was an accident.

“I just know that that intersection there is built horribly,” Steele said. “I know there are wrecks there all the time.”

She met Adam Steele at Del City Church of Christ in 2011 and described him as “a very lively and bubbly person who everybody loved.”

He left behind a 12-year-old son, she said.

Steele said she has a lot of support from fellow police officers, her church family and friends.

“It's very, very tough,” she said. “I never expected at 28 years old to be burying my husband.”