ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A five-year-old is dead and neighbors who live along a curve on Highway 44 in Ascension Parish are hoping state officials are paying attention. They say they've asked for months for safety measures to be done on the curve.
State troopers say Monday morning, Anthony Andrews, 30, of Sorrento was driving on LA-44 in a pickup truck when he missed the curve. Police say he tried to overcorrect and ran off the road, causing the truck to flip. Makell Andrews, 5, who was not properly restrained was partially ejected and killed. Resident who live where the accident happen say that section of road is one they have been complaining about.
Ascension Parish Councilman Kent Schexnaydre says for years the area has been a problem.
"They've had three wrecks in the last week along here," he said.
Neighbors say they've had crushed cars in their yards, mailboxes knocked down and despite asking the state for safety measures - nothing has been done. Bridget Babin is one of those who's been asking for things like rumble strips to make drivers pay more attention. She says if something had been done, it could have prevented a crash two weeks ago.
"A 19-year-old boy that overcorrected, hit a horse trailer with the truck and was very, very, very injured...had to Lifeflight him from right here," Babin said. She even took pictures of the teenager's crushed car.
"It's the most horrible thing. When you are inside my house it sound like they are driving in your house," said Babin.
"Everybody knows about it and we can't get any help over here in this neighborhood and it's very frustrating," said the councilman. Schexnaydre says years ago, when he asked the state to do something about the highway, they repaved it but left little to no shoulder beyond the painted lines.
He says that means most drivers end up crossing the center line in the curve.
Then there's the issue of speed.
"Someone in their infinite wisdom has actually raised the speed limit, from 45 to 55 miles an hour last year," he said.
Now with the death of a child, he and the others who live around the curve say something has to be done.
"How many is too many? This unfortunately, if nothing is done, this won't be the last," Schexnaydre said.
A spokesperson from the Department of Transportation say they are in the process of reviewing potential improvements for Highway 44. One of the first things will be signage to alert drivers of the curve ahead. They'll also be meeting with local officials and state police and other leaders to discuss what other safety enhancements can be done.