Sandbridge community calls for change after deadly crash

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on April 21, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 22 at 12:37 AM

Sandbridge fatal accident

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VIRGINIA BEACH -- The crash on Sandbridge Road last week that killed four people has people in the area pushing again for big changes to the road.

"When you're pulling children out of a car that you know in your hear of hearts are going to die, nobody should have to experience that," Ken Saiya told 13News Now.

Saiya was on Sandbridge Road Wednesday night after, he said, a car driven by Marlo Bayot dropped a wheel off the side of the roadway. Bayot overcorrected, putting her and 6 children in the path of a pick-up truck that hit the car from the side.

One child in the car died there. 2 others and Bayot died later at the hospital.

Besides 38-year-old Bayot, the other victims killed are 14-year-old Cheyenne Desire Patricia Gurney, 13-year-old Gabriel Kalani Proctor and 10-year-old Cherish Lailani Gurney. 

3 children still are in the hospital.

"The accident the other day was just more than I could take," said Crystal White who attended the Sandbridge Beach Civic League meeting Monday for the first time in 31 years.

The danger of the two-lane Sandbridge Road was the focus of the meeting. Many people discussed what can be done in the wake of the deadly crash to improve safety. Ideas floated extending the shoulder or creating shoulder space where there is none and extending no-passing zones.

Some civic league members want the City to revisit the extension of Nimmo Parkway into Sandbridge Beach. The four-lane road extension has failed in the past due to environmental restraints and city funding.

Another complaint is the lack of lights on the dark stretch of road. Drew Lankford from the City of Virginia Beach says it would cost $230,000/mile to light the road. Reflexive signs are about $50 per sign.

"How many people have to die? There's too many residents, too much going on. The City has allowed the building of the highrises which is great. Progress is good, but when you overbuild your infrastructure, it's reckless, and as far as I'm concerned, the City has been reckless in this case," said Saiya.

"We just need a better road, and I think it could be done," White stated. "We're better than this. We can provide a safer road. We can do it."

Members of the civic league resoundingly approved a resolution to Virginia Beach City Council saying people who live in Sandbridge Beach support improvements to Sandbridge Road as well as the City looking into extending Nimmo Parkway.

Reverend Claire Daugherty from the KingMaker Foundation, who is a friend of the victims' family, will be managing the fund on behalf of the family. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank. For more information on that, contact Reverend Daughtery at 757-275-4018.

 

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