Residents Want Repairs To FM Road - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/15/06-Longview

Residents Want Repairs To FM Road

       An East Texas community is desperately asking for the state's help. Residents in the area of FM 1404 and Cottonwood Road say accident after accident has taken place here over the years. And they say some simple road repairs could save lives.

     "Some people call this dead mans curve where we're standing" said one resident.

     It's a cut through, many people use to get from Gilmer to Gladewater. On November 5th, a car skidded out of control on a curve, rolling over several times. 31 year old Christopher Thomas of Big Sandy was killed.

    "This road is dangerous, we've had numerous wrecks, I've been in wrecks my wife on this very corner has spun out twice" said Mike Files, who's cousin was killed in an auto accident in the area.

       3 fatal accidents on this curve in 18 months. It doesn't help that the narrow road has loose gravel for shoulders. Residents say they have seen it too many times, take the curve a few miles too fast and you slide out of control. TXDOT officials we spoke with today say they have regularly scheduled repair work here on 1404, but in April.

      "April is not soon enough, somebody else will die, I wonder is my husband going to make it home, is my neighbor is my best friend" said area resident Christy Files.

     Leon Fatherree has lived on this corner for over 40 years. He's had cars crash onto his property and even into his house.

    "In the 40 years that I've lived here there's been over 400 accidents right here in this curve, I had my house totaled in 1987, I had my truck totaled at one time had my wife's Cadillac totaled" says Leon.

     Many say the solution is simple.

     "This last fatality was one of my family members, the simple thing to do is to put up guard rails" says Mike Files.

     Guards rails so that they'll never have to see another cross.   Residents around the "dead man's curve" are asking that TXDOT improve the shoulders of 1404 to reduce the sliding hazards. Again, TXDOT is scheduled to perform road widening and repair on the entire length of fm-1404 in April.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting bhallmark@kltv.com

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