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Unwanted guest: Couple wants action after speeder almost hits house

December 20th, 2011 10:03 pm by Madison Mathews

Unwanted guest: Couple wants action after speeder almost hits house

Gail and Renda Williams are tired of drivers speeding through the section of Telford where they live, especially after a traffic accident that occurred last week in which their house was nearly hit by a car.
“We’ve got to have some way to slow these people down,” Gail said Monday while looking at portions of the ground that were dug up by the Kia Spectra that landed in her yard Thursday. “I mean, they come across this hill sometimes doing 50 miles an hour.”
The Williamses had just returned from a sporting event around 9:20 that night when the car, driven by Carrie A. Tarlton, 31, 131 Patton May Road, Telford, came veering down the hill of a neighbor’s yard into the driveway of the 413 McCarty Hollow Road, where the Williamses live.
According to the accident report from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Tarlton was traveling northbound on McCarty Hollow Road when she over-corrected after running off the right side of the road. Tarlton’s car then struck a Chevy pickup truck parked in the driveway, which was flipped around into the garage, causing damage to the garage door and the concrete porch that stopped the truck from crashing into the home.
Tarlton’s vehicle came to stop in the front yard, and she was treated by EMS at the scene before being taken to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.
The officer cited Tarlton with failure to exercise due care.
While the accident didn’t seriously injure anyone, the Williamses believe it could have been a lot worse if their pickup truck hadn’t first been hit.
“If that big red truck hadn’t been there, she probably would’ve ended up in the living room, and he (Renda Williams) was sitting in the living room,” Gail said.
According to Gail, the officer told her Tarlton was most likely traveling about 40 mph when the crash occurred. The posted speed limit on McCarty Hollow Road is 30 mph.
Accidents like the one that happened last week are a common occurrence for residents who live along the curvy stretch of road off U.S. Highway 11E. The Williamses have only lived at their McCarty Hollow residence for about a year, but during that time, they’ve talked with plenty of neighbors who have called in wrecks that have happened on the road.
“It’s a common thing, I reckon. We just found that out since we moved here,” Renda said.
Like many who live along McCarty Hollow Road, the Williamses have called the WCSO to request extra patrols, and they hope speeding will become less of a common occurrence after last week’s accident.
Speeding in Washington County is a problem the WCSO is very aware of, and Sgt. Ralph Gent said it’s made even worse on the back roads of the county.
“On back roads, people tend to go faster than what they’re supposed to. On that road, especially, it’s very curvy when you cut off (U.S.) 11E. A lot of back roads are like that,” Gent said.
Gent said the department deals with complaints from residents on a daily basis about drivers speeding through neighborhoods and other sections of the county. Those complaints are taken very seriously by officers, but other than increasing patrols and running radar, there’s just not a lot officers can do to curb people from speeding.
“A lot of times, they don’t even realize they are speeding and then when they see their speed flash up on a radar screen, it catches their attention to slow down a bit,” Gent said. “When we get a complaint on a specific road, we’ll do an extra patrol. According to our call volume, we’ll try to get an officer on that road as often as possible.”
Gent said the best way to combat speeding drivers is to report them to the department by calling 788-1414.
“Our department takes speeding very seriously in the county. It tends to lead to wrecks, fatalities and things of that nature. If we can prevent it in any way, we’ll do what we can to take care of it,” he said.

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