To the editor:
The last few weeks have offered us a sad reminder of how fragile life really is. Several accidents in the county have taken the lives of people who were loved by many—no one can know the pain felt by the families that are the true victims of these tragedies, but we can share with them the sense of loss and fight with them to make sure accidents like those do not happen again.
A particular stretch of highway in Estill County, where Winston Road and Trotting Ridge Road intersect Kentucky Highway 52, there have been two accidents in two years. Looking back that area of road has been home to accident after accident over the years—making it one of the most lethal stretches of road in the county. The numbers are pretty scary: According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, since 2000 at least 20 accidents have happened at the spot of Kentucky Highway 52 where Winston and Trotting Ridge meet. At least 11 of these involved injuries and at least 21 people were injured (and of course two of the most recent crashes proved to be fatal).
Anyone who has ever attempted to turn onto Winston Road from Irvine or to come off one of these roads onto Highway 52 are well aware of the dangers—people living in these areas deal with it every day. However, it is not residents of Winston or Trotting Ridge alone that are in danger. Most of the injuries and fatalities of the last several years were people who live all over the county. If you make your home in Estill County chances are you have made the trip to Richmond. If so, the chances are pretty good that you used KY Highway 52 to get there and by doing so have put yourself into a dangerous situation, simply by driving through there.
Something needs to be done. The decision to put in a traffic signal or a turning lane is left to the Kentucky Department of Transportation. After studying the issue they will make the determination on whether the area needs a light. In the meantime we can help them decide: there are petitions all over the county, if you see one please sign your name. Call local officials and demand something be done. Call the Kentucky Transportation cabinet. We cannot force the state to put a traffic light in there, but we can make our voices heard—and make it more likely that something will get done. If we don’t stand up for our safety and our families safety, who will?