LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB) - A dangerous curve on Highway 22 in Livingston Parish has some people feeling unsafe even inside their own homes.
Records show there have been five wrecks in the last three years, which is not necessarily abnormal by Louisiana Department of Transpiration and Development (DOTD) standards, but it’s enough to put people on edge.
“Probably six months after I moved in, someone ran off the road and took my mailbox out,” said David Walls.
Walls lives right in front of a state highway that sees its fair share of traffic, but traffic isn’t the problem, it’s how drivers struggle to stay on the road. The posted speed limit is 30 mph, but people in the area say drivers go well beyond that.
“Something needs to be done out here. People are constantly running off the road in this curve,” he said. “I could lay in bed at nighttime and here tires squealing. I’m so close to the road. I’ve got kids and grand kids here.”
Walls says not long after he bought his house along the river in 2016, he realized life was about to get scary. Things got bad recently when he came home to find his truck inches away from being inside his living room.
He says someone speeding through the curved pushed his pickup truck against the house. “I said, 'Oh, crap, somebody has hit my truck.’” Walls’ truck was totaled.
After that, he installed poles and a fence to protect his property, but his mailbox fell victim again. Walls says he’s not waiting anymore on the state to make a change.
“You’re just wondering if they’re leaving the road or staying on the road, if they’re fixing to come through your house or not,” he said.
“I’ve known for many, many years due to my career in law enforcement that this strength of road can be very dangerous,” said Willie Graves.
Graves has a camp right next door. He says the hairpin curves don’t just mess with the speeders.
“Add that with an excess of speed, inclement weather, impaired drivers, and it’s just a recipe for disaster," he said. “You don’t have to sit here very long to hear cars coming through, hear tires screeching.”
The answer, both say, is simple, and would keep everyone safer.
“Guardrails are the only answer and it wouldn’t take that much,” Graves said. “You can’t make people slow down, but you may be able to help people stay on the road.”
Louisiana State Police says if people in the area are concerned about speeders in the LA 22 area, they should call Troop A at 225-754-8500 and they will dispatch troopers for an increased presence.