Changes coming to deadly stretch of I-59 -, GA News Weather & Sports

Changes coming to deadly stretch of I-59

(Source: Melanie Posey/WBRC) (Source: Melanie Posey/WBRC)

Look closely at Melvin Brown's wrist and you'll notice a black bracelet with the letters KDS written in cursive script.

Those are the initials of his dear friend, Kevin Sutton.

Sutton was the fire chief for the city of Fairfield when he was killed in a wreck on Interstate 59 near the Fourth Avenue exit.

“April 30th, 2017 is a day I'll never forget because it changed my life,” Brown says somberly.

Brown, who is also a Battalion Chief with Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service knows that stretch of roadway all too well. 

The day before Sutton's death, Antonio Sumerlin was killed in the same part of the highway.

On September 29th, another death here. And just a day ago, a four-vehicle accident. 

Fortunately, there were no deaths in that one.

In at least two of the three fatal accidents this year, a vehicle has crossed the median, causing the deaths.

Alabama Department of Transportation officials know it's a dangerous spot. 

Last month, they let a project that will add cable-rail lines to the inner section.

The project, funded by a combination of federal and state dollars, will start in the next month and a half. 

The cable, ALDOT officials say, will stretch for several miles.

“I'm pleased with any efforts that would hinder or delay a vehicle coming across the median,” Brown says. 

But while he is grateful for ALDOT's efforts, he can't help but reflect.

“I wish it had been, of course, seven months ago, so that my best friend, I think he could still be here.”

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