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WSAZ Investigates | Speeding recorded near home needing guardrail

Roughly two dozen drivers were logged speeding through the area Tuesday afternoon.
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 9:39 PM EST
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CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Sidney Lucas has been pleading for help for years. After several vehicles have crashed into his yard and even his home along Trace Fork Road, he reached out to West Virginia Department of Transportation for help.

After not getting results, he contacted WSAZ. We first reported on the story two weeks ago.

He’s asking for a guardrail to be put up on his property to prevent wayward drivers from ending up on the lawn or even damaging his home.

His wife Cindy was thrown from the couch after a driver lost control and sent his truck through the family’s porch in January 2021.

“He made it like a drive-thru; he just came right on through,” she said.

On Monday, Feb. 7, representatives from WVDOH showed up at the Lucas’ home. They took measurements and spoke to Sidney in the yard.

Two days later, a letter arrived in the mail, indicating an investigation had been opened into the matter and results would be available in two weeks.

“Thankfully ya’ll have taken an interest in it, and this is how we are proceeding,” he said. “Hopefully it becomes fruitful and I get a guardrail and get back my peace of mind.”

A WVDOH spokesperson confirmed the validity of the letter sent to Lucas.

West Virginia Division of Highways has employees trained in all parts of the state to respond to every question a citizen offers us, and to provide a response within seven days. In cases where we’re still researching a problem or designing a solution, we send them a letter like the one you showed me to let them know. They can call us at 1-833-WVROADS, email us at wvroads@wv.gov or go to our website, transportation.wv.gov and click on the Request Road Work tab to fill out a web form. However they contact us, the email, phone call or form goes to a team of people in the appropriate part of the state, who gather the information and reply. We’ve devoted our careers to taking care of these roads, we drive them too, and these are our communities, so we’re glad to have this system for making sure we get back in touch with our neighbors across the state.

WVDOH Spokesperson

The couple, who’s from Chicago, say they’re more concerned about cars flying around the corner, than they ever were about violence in the Windy City.

They tell WSAZ one of their biggest fears is speeding.

So we returned to their home on Tuesday, armed with backup in the form of a West Virginia State Police trooper to see how serious of a safety concern it was.

In about 30-minutes time, reporter Kelsey Souto logged roughly two dozen drivers. All but one were traveling over the speed limit.

“I don’t know all the factors the state has to take into consideration but you would think the number of wrecks that they have had here and the number of people that come off the roadway would be enough of a concern for your safety and your family’s safety,” said Trooper First Class Z. S. Holden.

The home is about a quarter mile from U.S. 119, and many drivers use the route to cut between Boone and Logan County. The nearest speed limit sign is about a mile up the road, posted as 30 mph. Trooper Holden says if no sign is posted, drivers are to assume it is 25 mph.

Now that law enforcement has seen the problems up close and personally, they say they plan to revisit and help crack down on excessive speeding.

“Anything like this where there’s this many accidents, all of us at the office would be more than willing to come sit at places that communities are having problems,” Holden said.

While the Lucas couple await results and answers from the WVDOH investigation, they say they welcome and help and support they can get.

“Hope Jesus takes the wheel,” Sidney Lucas said. “If he takes the wheel, I hope he steers the other way.”

To catch up on previous coverage, click here.

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