WSAZ Investigates | Man pleads for guardrail near his home
LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – In a follow-up to a WSAZ investigation, we revisit a couple In Logan County who says the last few years have been spinning out of control as drivers wreck in their yard and into their home -- causing thousands of dollars in damage and putting their lives in danger.
WSAZ’s Kelsey Souto first reported about this story in early February. The couple says they have been begging the state for help for years.
When they saw no changes being made, they reached out to WSAZ. Souto has revisited the area many times to see the problem firsthand and has been working to get answers about what’s being done to improve safety.
For this follow-up story, it was Souto’s third visit to the Chapmanville home of Sidney Lucas and his wife.
One accident caught on surveillance in January 2020 involved a driver leaving the road and crashing into the Lucas couple’s porch, throwing Mrs. Lucas from the couch and causing nearly $15,000 in damage.
Earlier this year, Sidney said a teenage girl wrecked her car in his yard, totaling her ride. He told Souto that she and her father later came back to repair the damage, rebuilding the garbage bin and restacking poles.
For years, Sidney said he’s reached to the state Division of Highways, trying to get a guardrail - but it never happened.
So, we started making calls and sending emails trying to find out what could be done. On Feb. 7, less than a week after our initial story aired, the DOH sent Sidney a letter, stating they would open an investigation into the matter. He says he was surprised what his security cameras caught next: DOH workers showing up at his home to take measurements.
Taking things a step further, Souto brought out state troopers to run radar in the area. In just about 30 minutes, troopers clocked nearly two dozen drivers speed by Sidney’s home.
However, about two weeks later, Sidney got a call from state DOH representatives, saying he wouldn’t be getting his guardrail.
Officials said “a guardrail is not warranted at this location,” citing a review and data that characterized Trace Fork Road as “low speed and low traffic volume”-- despite what we witnessed while out at Sidney’s home.
So, we wanted to go back out and see again if speed truly is a concern. This time, Souto asked a Logan County Sheriff’s deputy to meet at the property.
“We were out here for this gentleman’s complaint, and he was absolutely right; there’s people right around,” said Logan County Sheriff’s Deputy C.L. Carter. “There’s people flying through here. We’ve stopped probably six or seven cars, and that’s what it’s all been for, speeding.”
Deputies have already caught six people for speeding and written tickets.
For more about what Souto found in her latest investigation, click or tap on the video link.
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