Wilmington Island homeowner says barrier needed to protect home - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Wilmington Island woman says barrier needed to protect home from road


An update to a story you'll only see on WTOC. A homeowner says she's becoming all too familiar with scenes like the one that happened late night Feb. 16.

The driver of a truck crashed into her home and she says it's not the first time, but she hopes it's the last.

We spoke to County Commissioner Pat Farrell who in turn asked the Chatham County Engineering Department to look at the roads that run past the Wilmington Island home.

I spoke exclusively to the engineering department on what they're doing to potentially improve the intersection.  I met with Civil Engineer, II, Chris Rains at the intersection with five police reports of crashes at and around the area of Penn Waller and Walthour roads.

Part of Rains' job for the county is to make sure our roadways are safe. "Make sure all the correct traffic controls are in place: stop signs, stop bars, warning signs, and signals."

This three way intersection has those controls: a flashing yellow on Walthour; a sign and flashing red on penn waller; and additional signage alerting drivers to the upcoming intersection.

But this last close call, the police report states the driver was drunk.

Chris, reading that report, says, "Once we see that in the traffic report, we know it wasn't the road's fault per se, but it was the actual motorist, not really a 'bmp' to put in place to prevent that accident from reoccuring."

When we spoke to the homeowner, Laura Castellano, right after the truck crashed into her house, she had her own suggestions. "There needs to be some type of permanent barrier or guardrail or something."

So we asked Rains the possibility of that as well, and he replied, "A guardrail for this instance wouldn't be appropriate because a guardrail is not designed for a perpendicular impact, it's designed if car veers off the road to guide it or help it back onto the roadway."

Sometimes, residents don't get the answers they want, which is frustrating to Rains as well.

"We want make sure the roads remain safe and don't create a new hazard by installing something that doesn't necessarily meet the uniformed code."

The report for the intersection is not finished just yet.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly