Snow bank on Egan poses a traffic hazard

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2003

On Sunday evening (Dec. 7) my daughter, Rachael Sturrock, was involved in a single-car rollover on outbound Egan at "the wall" just before Bartlett Regional Hospital. I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to the two gentlemen who arrived at the scene first, lent her a jacket and a cell phone, and helped her out of her car. I'd also like to thank the medical community and police officials for their kindness and care. Rachael was indeed very fortunate and we're thankful she's still with us today.

Rachael was cited for driving too fast for road conditions. While she is more than willing to accept responsibility for keeping her car on the road, I think it should be pointed out that this was not a high-speed accident. I don't believe her car would have rolled had it not been for the snow bank against the wall serving as a ramp to propel her into the air. Snow banks ordinarily act as buffers along the highway, but with a solid surface behind them the car drives up the snow bank and rides the wall before tipping. This thought would really not have occurred to me except for the fact that four years ago her step-brother broke his neck while a passenger in a vehicle that rolled in almost the exact same location - and a snow bank was there at that time as well.

I haven't really paid attention to how many accidents occur along that wall, but having two in one family is certainly notable. I have contacted the Department of Transportation regarding snow removal on this treacherous stretch of highway in the hopes that they will keep the snow totally cleared away. I believe this is a preventable hazard that should be given the utmost priority during the winter months. I would encourage anyone with similar experiences to contact DOT.

In the meantime, Juneau, drive cautiously, and have a happy and safe holiday season.

Mary Fiorella

Juneau



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