Accident Victim Asks For Safety Improvements To Old Spanish Trail - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/14/04

Accident Victim Asks For Safety Improvements To Old Spanish Trail

Katherine Jackson was driving along this section of Old Spanish Trail Road Wednesday night. The only light on the road came from her headlights, which wasn't enough to see a tractor parked in the middle of the road.

"I didn't see it until I was right up on it and I tried to swerve over to the left and my tire rolled up on his tractor tire and sent me flipping."

A trail of debris from Jackson's SUV marked each impact spot in the ditch.

"From what I counted, I flipped at least three times, but there were some people who said I flipped more than that."

Jackson believes she could have avoided the accident if there had been street lights.

"If we just had lights up, I could have saw him before I got there."

But Jackson and her husband Eric say the poor lighting is not the road's most hazardous flaw. There are no shoulders along Old Spanish Trail Road, and the asphalt sits up at least three inches higher than the ground. In most places only a foot or two of slick grass or soft mud separates drivers from trees and ditches, some of them six feet deep.

"That's real dangerous. The first thing that's going to happen, as soon as you drop off, is you're going to go straight in them woods and hit some trees. If you going about 45 miles an hour, that's what's going to happen," Eric Jackson said.

"If you just barely swerve off to the side, you run a chance of running into the ditch over there. Or if somebody's over there, you run the risk of hitting them," Katherine Jackson said.

That's why the Jacksons say they'd like to see something done, before any more lives are put in danger.

District Five Supervisor John McKay acknowledged the problems with Old Spanish Trail Road. McKay says he is trying to get the support of his fellow supervisors and state road engineers to make much needed improvements to the road, but so far hasn't had much success.

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