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WVDOH responds to request for guardrail

WVDOH officials tell Sidney Lucas an investigation into the matter is underway.
Published: Feb. 12, 2022 at 9:53 AM EST
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CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - One homeowner in Logan County is desperate for some help, trying to protect his house and property from wayward drivers.

Sidney Lucas has lived along Trace Fork Road in Chapmanville for years. But he started having problems with inattentive drivers in 2018 and he says things have only started getting worse since.

“They’re supposed to protect people and property,” he said. Referencing guardrails further down his property line. “Why won’t they protect me?”

In January 2021, a driver lost control of his pickup truck and veered off the road. The crash took out Lucas’ front porch, damaged his trailers foundation and sent his wife flying from the couch. The incident was caught on surveillance cameras. The aftermath, documented in pictures.

“It was very scary,” she said.

Then in January 2022, another driver exited the road and spun out in Lucas’ yard, colliding with a garbage barrier and totaling the vehicle. That incident was also captured on security cameras.

“I’m in fear everyday,” Lucas said. “I have to sit here and watch them come around the corner and wonder if this is going to be it?”

Reporter Kelsey Souto traveled to Lucas’ home to see the concerns first-hand. Cars whizzed by while they talked in the yard.

“This is why I’m concerned, afraid, whatever you want to call it,” he said.

Lucas walked her around the property, pointing out tire tread marks from the latest crash. Showing wooden poles that were thrown down over an embankment from the impact.

Our initial story aired on Wednesday, February 2nd. Prior to then, WSAZ reached out to WVDOH who said they investigated the matter in January 2021 but an engineer determined a guardrail wasn’t necessary. Officials said they would consider re-evaluating if something else had happened since.

WSAZ reporter Kelsey Souto sent WVDOH pictures and video of the most recent incident.

On Monday, February 7th, Lucas noticed two WVDOH workers out along the property line and in the road. He went out to speak with them. He says they told him they would look into the matter and it could take some time.

On Wednesday, February 9th, Lucas received a letter in the mail, dated February 7th, from the West Virginia Department of Transportation. It indicated representatives from District 2 Headquarters are investigating the request. They estimate it may take two weeks to complete. Once the investigation is complete, they will notify him of the results and recommendations.

Lucas says the WVDOH representatives who came to his home, took measurements and asked about speeding through the area, which connects to US-119.

Souto sent several e-mails to WVDOH representatives and called and left voicemail messages to try and confirm the investigation and timeline. No one returned the calls, messages or e-mails.

Lucas tells WSAZ he’s cautiously optimistic about the progress and just wants to find a resolution to keep him and his family safe.

“I’m so thankful to you and had interactions with you and I’m glad that you got the ball rolling in a more timely fashion,” he said. “The wife is very appreciative of everything you’ve done. Kudos to you.”

WSAZ will continue checking in and following up on this story.

Two weeks from the date of the letter would be Monday, February 21st.

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