Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2005
This is just to let you know Brandon Gresham did a story on the Sumrall Family (great work, by the way). Jennifer and Steve are my sister and brother-in-law and Rosa Lee is my aunt. I wanted to give you all an update for those who read the story.
Jennifer and Steve are both back at home with Steve’s side of the family. Our mother is here in Alabama living with her mother. Zack and Chris are back in school in the next town over from their home. They are slowly remodeling their two-story home where the only damage
was on the bottom floor. Alex is at home with his great-grandmother during the day while his parents are working at the Big Easy Bar’N’Grill.
I had offered them a place to stay but I only have a two-bedroom trailer and it just wasn’t big enough to house everyone so they went to Rosa’s while they were here for three weeks. I miss them because I don’t know when I will see them again.
A problem that I feel needs to be addressed in Calera is the lack of guardrails on County Road 86. This road is extremely dangerous and desperately needs protection from its curves. Some have nicknamed the road &8220;Roller Coaster Road,&8221; which perfectly describes the characteristics of this road, since it has sharp curves and steep hills along with deep hills on both sides of the road. A friend of mine was killed on County Road 86 due to one of the curves. I believe that there are several solutions in order to protect lives while driving on County Road 86 that need to be taken into consideration and put into action.
Following the death of my friend, I went on County Road 86 to see where the accident happened. I had never previously been on this road and was appalled by its several safety hazards; one of which is the excessive speed limit on a road that has such sharp curves. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports car accidents that involve running off the road comprise more than one-third of the nation’s traffic fatalities.
I strongly believe that putting up guardrails would be a good solution. I know of at least two petitions that have been created in hopes of having a guardrail put on the curve that killed my friend; however, nothing has happened even two years after the accident. Two other solutions listed by FHWA that could help lower the amount of accidents are improved pavement markings and skid-resistant pavements.
I know that these safety precautions cost money, but an individual’s life is priceless. I do not want my friend’s life to be forgotten or the cause of his death to be overlooked. Many lives could be saved if there is action taken resulting in a safe solution for County Road 86.
In 2003 I heard screeching tires, metal clashing, women and children screaming. I saw teenage girls fall out of a car with bloodied faces. I was involved in a horrific car accident at the junction of Highway 31 and Highway 275. Everyone who was involved was sent to the hospital except me. It could have all been prevented by a red light at the intersection.
I have witnessed many car crashes at that very intersection. In the past two years, the traffic in Pelham has grown significantly. People are starting to use the &8220;shortcut&8221; from highways 31 and 275 more frequently.
A red light at this intersection would solve most of the traffic problems of the area. With a red light at the intersection, there would be an even flow between the main traffic of Highway 31 and the intersection. The red light would make the possibility of a wreck like the one was involved in less likely.