Accidents Associated with the
or the Blind Curve Approach from
On January 21, 2005, a
senior ALDOT administrator was asked about the accident data which
prompted Senator Barron's accelerated effort to replace the Mentone Bridge. The ALDOT
replied "... I planned to review general accident data associated with
the bridge. We do not have copies of any specific accident reports; I
have requested a shred-out of cumulative accident data between mileposts
that include the bridge. When those data become part of the public
record, you will certainly be welcome to a copy. I’m hopeful we’ll have
relevant accident data prior to the public involvement meeting; if so,
we’ll inform you and everyone else what we’ve found. To get a specific
accident report, I suggest you contact the law enforcement entity that
handled the accident or the Department of Public Safety."
The Department of Public Safety in Montgomery says
that accident data can only be retrieved if one knows the date of the
accident and the names of the people involved in the accident.
They do not index their data by location and, thus, are unable to
recognize patterns of accidents which might indicate a particular road
design defect. The Department of Public
Safety says that only ALDOT maintains accident data indexed by location
and that that information is not available to the public.
The Town of Mentone has files of accident reports for
the Mentone area beginning in 1989. These reports have been
searched for all accidents related to either the Mentone Bridge or the
blind curve approaching the bridge from the southeast. Here are
brief summaries of each of the accident reports found during that search.
(pickup with trailer), Holder (tractor/trailer)
rounded the blind curve behind a tractor/trailer which suddenly slowed
when its driver saw Holder exiting the bridge. Thurmond, going
approximately 40 MPH on damp pavement, braked hard and lost control of
his vehicle which moved into the path of Holder who swerved into a road sign on his right and then veered
left across the road while trying to avoid a collision with Thurmond.
Thurmond was injured and both vehicles were damaged. The
investigating officer reported, "In this officer's
view, this accident is a result of the dangerous narrow bridge set in a
curve with vision obstructed by the curve in the roadway and trees
lining the northbound approach to the bridge".
(tractor/trailer), Young (car), Campbell (pickup), Huff
(tractor/trailer) ─ Huff rounded the blind curve going too fast and
side-swiped Battles, Young and Campbell who were crossing the bridge.
Campbell was injured.
All vehicles were badly damaged.
03Jun2004 ─ Millican (truck with wide trailer), McDonald (pickup)
McDonald rounded the blind curve as Millican exited the bridge.
There was not enough room between the guard rails for Millican's
13-foot-wide load and McDonald. McDonald was injured and his
vehicle was badly damaged.
14Dec2003 ─ Little (car), Diaz (car) ─ Little was stopped behind
another car at the southeast end of the bridge waiting for a
tractor/trailer to exit the bridge. Diaz rounded the blind curve
and crashed into the rear end of Little.
16Jan2003 ─ Fisher (car), Kilgore (car) ─ Kilgore lost control of his
car as he rounded the blind curve and crashed head-on into Fisher as
Fisher exited the bridge. Both vehicles were badly damaged.
14Jul2002 ─ Carter (pickup), Unknown (truck) ─ Carter rounded the
blind curve and was side-swiped by a garbage truck exiting the bridge.
25Apr2002 ─ Lawson (pickup), Ballenger (pickup) ─ Lawson was stopped
at the southeastern end of the bridge waiting for a tractor/trailer to
exit the bridge. Ballenger rounded the blind curve and crashed
into the rear end of Lawson.
27Jul2001 ─ McNutt (truck), Fussell (pickup) ─ McNutt was slowly
entering the bridge from the southeast to avoid a pedestrian. Fussell rounded the blind curve and crashed into McNutt's rear end.
Fussell's vehicle was badly damaged.
08Nov2000 ─ Guerrero (car), Williams (tractor/trailer) ─ Guerrero was
stopped at the southeast entrance to the bridge waiting for a
tractor/trailer to exit the bridge. Williams rounded the blind
curve and crashed into Guerrero's rear end. Guerrero's vehicle was
21May1999 ─ Essex (pickup), Nicely (pickup with trailer) ─ Essex,
entering the bridge from the blind curve, and
Nicely, crossing the bridge, side-swiped each other.
23Feb1999 ─ Cockburn (truck), Morley (pickup with trailer) ─
Cockburn, entering the bridge from the blind curve, and Morley, crossing
the bridge, side-swiped each other.
24Apr1997 ─ Carter (tractor/trailer), Heard (truck) ─ Carter was
stopped at the southeast entrance to the bridge waiting for a car to
cross. Heard rounded the blind curve and crashed into Carter's
rear end. Heard's vehicle was badly damaged.
08Apr1997 ─ Bowman (car), Hawkins (van) ─ Bowman was stopped at
the southeast entrance to the bridge waiting for a log truck to exit the
bridge. Hawkins rounded the blind curve and crashed into Bowman's
05Sep1996 ─ Crider (car), Browder (truck) ─ Browder was stopped at the
southeast entrance to the bridge waiting for a log truck to exit the
bridge. Crider rounded the blind curve and crashed into Browder's
rear end. Crider's vehicle was badly damaged.
?????1995 ─ School Bus, Truck ─ School Bus and Truck crossed bridge at
same time and knocked off each others mirrors. The date of this
accident is estimated. The school bus driver retired after the
15Jun1989 ─ Ledbeller (tractor/trailer), Croley (suv) ─ Croley
rounded the blind curve, spun sideways and was hit on the passenger side
by Ledbeller who was crossing the bridge. Croley's car was pushed
back 110 feet by Ledbeller, and Croley was injured. Both vehicles
were badly damaged.
?????1954 ─ Gipson (car) ─ Gipson rounded the blind curve,
not going too fast. The road was damp and Gipson slid across the road
and crashed head-on into the bridge rail. Two were injured, one
was killed. The vehicle was badly damaged.
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