Stretch of Rt. 33 Continues Taking Lives

Pendleton County, WV -- West Virginia police and firefighters are sending a message to lawmakers.

They want to prevent future deaths on a mountain known for taking the lives of truckers.

"Fatalities never go away. You don't ever forget those," shared Sergeant A.D. Teter with West Virginia State Police.

"It's pretty rough when we have to go up there,” added Seneca Rocks Volunteer Fire Department Safety Officer, Bucky Evans. “Especially if we have a fatality. Someone burning - that's really bad."

Sergeant Teter and Evans are talking about where Route 33 crosses Allegheny Mountain in Pendleton County.

"In my 14 years here, I've probably worked 30+ tractor trailer crashes on this mountain," added Teter.

Teter says they want something as simple as more signs warning truckers of these dangers grades and curves. The signs here now aren't cutting it.

There are so many accidents on these curves that debris actually still remains from a fatal accident that happened several months ago.

It's not so easy coming up with a solution, though.

"The problem is, we have a budget shortfall in the state of West Virginia," explained Isaac Sponaugle, who represents Pendleton County in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

This is especially so when it comes to state highways. Sponaugle says until West Virginia can find the money to fund these kinds of safety projects, crashes on mountain roads like this are likely to continue.

"You have to take it and understand it, but that doesn't mean that you stop trying to make something change," concluded Teter.

Delegate Sponaugle said he and other leaders will continue making noise at the state level with this issue until something is done about it. At this point, though, there is no definite time line for a solution.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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