During the same week Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) employees installed new caution signs along curves on Highway FF near Eureka, a serious accident happened on the roadway.
MoDOT data indicates Highway FF has a crash rate of at least 25 percent over the statewide average for a two-lane road. Reviews of traffic reports reveal Highway FF was the site of 129 accidents during 2006 to 2010, including three fatalities.
"As promised, we should have the majority of the signs up by the end of the year, pending weather delays," said Judy Wagner, P.E., Missouri Department of Transportation area engineer for Franklin and Jefferson Counties.
Wagner said they still have several of the sign post delineators to install when they get them, with an expected delivery date in three weeks. She said the sign post delineators are the long narrow piece of yellow sign that is attached to the post of the sign. "This helps the visibility of the curve at night," she said.
Most Recent Accident:
UPDATE DEC. 9—THIS ACCIDENT OCCURRED IN FRANKLIN COUNTY ON HIGHWAY FF, NOT THE STRETCH OF FF IN JEFFERSON COUNTY THAT BORDERS EUREKA: Christie Bean, 41, was traveling northbound on Highway FF Wednesday. She was driving at a high speed, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper Sgt. C. L. Patton, when she lost control of her 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan at a curve .10 mile north of Project Road. Her minivan left the left side of the road, struck a ditch and overturned.
This Ridgewoods, MO, driver was not wearing a safety belt, according to Highway Patrol accident report. The accident occurred at 2:40 p.m.
Bean was seriously hurt, and was air-evacuated and taken to Mercy Hospital.
Her minivan was totaled. There were no passengers or other vehicles involved.
In Remembrance of Kaela Archambault and Karen Turnbo:
A small group of people this weekend cleaned up trash along Highway FF, resulting in 30 bags collected, as part of an ongoing program to remember and honor those local residents who have died in accidents on these dangerous strip of roadway.
Two recent accidents that spotlighted the need to do something to improve the safety of Highway FF include:
- a 20-year-old lost her life in a head-on collision with a Rockwood School District bus on Nov. 18, 2010. Kaela Archambault's family since erected a safety-related billboard in her honor, and established a nonprofit called One Curve At A Time.
- a Eureka business owner, Karen Turnbo, died in an one-vehicle accident there Sept. 17, 2011, when her truck ran off the road and struck a tree.
"Shawn (Kaela's father) and I both felt we honored Kaela and Karen in the clean-up efforts Saturday," Eureka resident Stephanie Stemmler told Patch. Stemmler was a good friend of Turnbo.
See related article: Tribute to Two Lost in Auto Fatalities
Stemmler said while along the road, they had a Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy helping to slow down traffic for them, and he said he would welcome shoulders for the added traffic safety benefits, and for pulling over speeders.
Read about the effects these accidents have had: Living With Loss of Loved Ones