Shelby County family asks for safety measures along dangerous curve

EDINBURGH, Ind. – A family is asking county commissioners for help after they say they’ve witnessed at least 26 cars fly off the road and into their front yard.

Matt Branson lives along South 600 West. He, his wife and their eight-month old child have lived in the same house for about three years.

“A lot of them just do yard jobs and take off,” he said, pointing to the damage in his front lawn.

Branson’s fence was torn apart from a recent accident, too.

“We were trying to keep the house looking nice,” he said. “I never thought we’d keep putting a fence up.”

Branson explained that most people have trouble navigating the curve that is there. South 600 West travels straight for about five miles before it veers.

“They didn’t see the curve or they knew it was there but they forgot. They were on their cell phone. It just sneaks up on you,” he explained.

A lot of drivers, he told CBS4, end up in the ditch. Others, though, wreck badly enough to where they can’t just drive away. In those cases, Branson said, they invite the driver into their garage before help arrives.

“We’re afraid we’re going to come home one time and someone is going to be in our house,” he said. “We have an eight-month old and we’re afraid that one time, someone is going to miss the curve and come into the house. His bedroom is up front.”

Branson asked the CBS4 Problem Solvers for help. He was hoping the county would extend the guard rails and add reflective signs.

“I’m familiar that there are several accidents there,” Commissioner Don Parker admitted.

Parker said a lot of the crashes that happen in the area are due to driver error. He added, though, that there isn’t much the county can do to help.

“We put guard rail up around the curve and we’ve tried it in front of it, but we found out there if people would hit that, it could make the car airborne which would be more critical injuries,” he said.

When asked about signs and lights around the curve, Parker said there were some before the curve. He said occasionally, vehicles knock them down and the county has to replace them.

“I’ve thought about different things we could do to improve that corner. We’d have to buy property to kind of straighten it out,” he said.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office confirmed there have been dozens of crashes along the curve. CBS4 asked if deputies could set up some extra patrols along the road but never heard back.

“I don’t want to tell somebody to move,” Parker said. “But that is their option.”

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