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Newsmakers : Town's First Stoplight Brings Its Residents Together

March 15, 1985

--Less than a day after Gaston, S.C., got its first stoplight, someone tried to run it--causing a four-car pileup and some minor injuries, officials said. The town of 1,200 had been trying to install the light at its major intersection for more than a decade, and Mayor John O' Neal had worried aloud at the switching-on ceremony Wednesday that some residents might not be able to adjust immediately to encroaching urbanization. At 6:30 a.m., Rogers Casteal, 32, in a car traveling northbound on U.S. 321, ran the light, which was red, and struck a car in the Mack Road crossing, said Patrolman Steve Smith. Two other cars were struck in the accident, but the passengers suffered only "bumps and bruises," he said. Casteal was charged with running a red light. Despite the accident, Police Chief Jimmy Watts said he's still glad the town got the light. "We're definitely better off," he said.

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