Resident: Not first time vehicle has left road near his home
August 9, 2008
Haunted by memories of a July 11 accident in which two of his neighbors were injured when a truck barreled through the back of their mobile home, Holbrook Station resident Mark Adams said he won’t sleep in his back room.
“My neighbors are all sleeping in their front rooms,” he said.
About two-dozen mobile homes are parked along the highway. The trailer park was built in 1976, according to the Douglas County Assessor’s Office.
Adams said the semi-truck that left the highway and resulted in serious injury to two children was not the first time a vehicle has careened out of control and headed for his home.
“The truck barely missed me,” he said. “It missed me by a hair. And then we were looking for the girls, calling and calling for them.”
Adams said residents hope to get a guardrail along the highway to keep vehicles from flying into their homes.
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Last winter a car hit a patch of black ice and spun out.
“The driver was going northbound when he hit the ice,” Adams said. “The car came right up to the fence line. I was lucky the fence was there because the car would have ended up in my backyard.”
An engineer from the Nevada Department of Transportation visited the scene, but Adams said he wasn’t hopeful the state would help.
“He said there was a 100-foot curve here and that was enough room for a vehicle to recover,” Adams said. “But if you have a car going 90 mph down that hill, it’s going to end up smashing into one of these houses.”
Holbrook resident Colleen Wischhusen said she knew the two girls injured in the accident.
“This is so devastating, none of us can sleep at night,” she said. “It’s really horrible. No, I don’t sleep in my back room.”
Wischhusen said that in Smith Valley there is a quiet zone on Highway 208.
“When you come out of Gardnerville there is a big green sign that says ‘Holbrook Junction 16 miles,'” she said. “If we rate a sign like that, why don’t we rate something that says slow down.”
State Transportation Spokesman Scott Magruder said the department has yet to make a decision on the request for a guardrail.
“We are aware of what happened,” he said. “Anytime you have a vehicle run off the roadway, which is the No. 1 accident all over the state, we look to see if there is something we can do.”
Magruder said a guardrail isn’t always the answer, and even if it is, it’s not always the state that’s required to pay for it.
“A barrier can become a hazard by the side of the road,” he said. “Sometimes it will cause more accidents than it will prevent. In this instance we’re working with the property owner. We haven’t made a decision yet. It will be a week or two.”
Adams isn’t holding out much hope.
“This is the end of the world,” he said. “Nobody cares about Holbrook.”
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