Residents say Site of Bus Crash is an Unsafe Road - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Residents say Site of Bus Crash is an Unsafe Road

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email 

SEALE, AL (WTVM) - The fatal car accident that claimed the life of 17-year-old Casey Hearn isn't the first wreck on that stretch of Highway 169 in Russell County. Several crashes have happened there, and some involved other school buses.

People who live on Highway 169 say with all these crashes, they want something to change soon. In May, a bus collided with a car at the intersection of Highway 169 and Highway 431, and in 2006, a school bus full of children barely missed a crash involving a semi-truck and a moving van. 

Seale resident and mother of two, Stephanie Tabb said, "I don't remember when the wreck happened back in 2006, but they haven't ridden the bus since that wreck."

Tabb says the number of wrecks taking place on her street caused her to take her sons off the bus, "It hurts and it makes me angry because nobody wants to do anything."

Tabb and other concerned parents, like Sandra Olds, have made strides for years to get flashing lights installed, more police patrol or a speed limit change to slow these cars down.

Olds added, "We have three of four bus stops here and we'd like to see the speed limit reduced, especially during the school year. This has been occurring for many years now and nobody has taken initiative or done anything."

We even spoke with one young driver, Dillon Paul, who admits that many people don't play it safe on that road, "Roads in Russell County are dangerous, especially where the crash happened. I used to live down the hill from where it happened, I know that curve is really dangerous. I've even done some stupid stuff myself in the car."

"School Bus Stop" signs are posted all up and down Highway 169, but parents say they aren't stopping, or even slowing down drivers. Tabb added, "I've been trying for years to get something done but it hasn't worked out yet because the state department says they can't do anything, the sheriff's department says they don't have the people and then there's nothing else I can do."

News Leader Nine spoke with representatives from the Russell County School District to see if they had any plans to make Highway 169 safer for students. All they could tell us is the bus drivers with the district are very safe and they wish other drivers would slow down.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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