Many more accidents and incidents than are counted occur on Highway FF just outside of , said Ty Bain Turnbo, who generally goes by Bain. This young Eureka resident should know. He and his sister, Bailey, lost both of their parents to separate auto accidents in a specific stretch of winding roadway that currently has a crash rate at least 25 percent over the statewide average for two-lane roads, according to Missouri Department of Transportation statistics.
"Highway FF is not respected enough, and there are too many unknown variables," said Bain, whose .
"You never know when someone's going to pull out in front of you because you can't see ahead," he said. "And you often come upon stranded cars on that road."
Bain said he doesn't drive Highway FF anymore. "Even on the straight-away, it's so dark, you can't see. Hitting anything on that road is going to do damage to vehicles and to the persons."
Drivers often report hydroplaning on Highway FF.
After his mother's death, he moved into town (Eureka). The 19-year-old now is a college student at the . His 15-year-old sister moved to East Prairie, MO, to live with their aunt. Both were attending at the time of the accident that took their mother's life.
"It's really nice to see everybody supporting us," said Bain, about the to unveil a new safety billboard at the intersection of Highways FF and W, and to honor the lives lost in a new, concerted trash collection effort there.
Bailey, 15, who recently got her driver's permit, teared up Saturday when she admitted that driving was a scary proposition for her, as she thinks about her parents.
Hope for Better, Future Road Conditions
On Saturday, Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer for Jefferson and Franklin Counties, announced the transportation organization plans to create new shoulders on Highway FF and to correct three curves there, as a direct result of the local community advocate effort put forth in the past year.
MoDOT workers have taken a few steps inbetween time, to determine how to bring more awareness for the need for changes on the road known as one of Missouri's most dangerous. The grassroots group, called One Curve At A Time, several months ago worked with MoDOT to install two adopt-a-highway signs in memory of and , a 20-year-old Eureka High graduate who also lost her life there in a head-on collision with a bus during November 2010. Organizers hope more drivers see the signs as reminders to slow down.
In addition, MoDOT recently cleared debris along the Highway FF right-of-way to enhance visibility, and created a law enforcement pulloff so that Jefferson County Sheriff's Department deputies can better monitor traffic.
MoDOT preliminary engineering studies led to the transportation officials planning to install new and enhanced highway signage on the road, as well as large chevron arrows on two particularly dangerous curves, one just east of Route F on Highway FF, and the other at the intersection of Highway FF and Tall Oaks Drive—the curve where .
Drainage and road improvements also were identified. Requests for major road improvements for Highway FF were submitted for state approvals, said Wagner.