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Members Speak, Ray's Close Call

E-mail to Chesapeake from Ray Renaud about Call on April 23rd, 2009 

The close call I had last Thursday at Limestone and Route 7 changed my outlook completely. This was the first time in my life that I felt like I narrowly avoided a potentially fatal collision. I was on my way to the Wetzel County CAP meeting sponsored by Chesapeake. A pilot vehicle almost hit the driver side of my vehicle. A heavy pickup hitting the driver's side of a small compact vehicle at high speed has a high probability of causing a fatality or major injury. I then followed the pilot vehicle and the tractor trailer it was escorting. They travelled at 70 MPH+ on the straight stretches and consistently were 15 MPH and more above the speed limit posted on the caution signs. It was very difficult identifying the vehicles due to the high speed, but the coloring on the trucks was the same as that on Diamond Y trucks or Yost trucks. The trailer registration number was 1196365. I reported the incident to Chesapeake at the CAP meeting, but have not received a reply. The incident occurred at around 5:30 PM.

The YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmCVSy0JHcc shows the danger involved at that intersection. The first part of the video shows the view of a driver going West on Route 7, approaching the intersection at 35 MPH, which is the posted caution speed before the intersection which can be seen at the start of the video. After that there is a view from Limestone Ridge of several vehicles as seen from a vehicle at the Limestone intersection. The speed of these vehicles varied from 38 MPH to 46 MPH as measured using a 100 foot measuring strip. The significance of this video is that it shows that even at the posted 35 MPH caution signs that there is not enough time to react. Stopping distance is a function of reaction time and vehicle stopping distance. At this intersection, at the posted caution speed there is barely enough time for a person paying attention to react, which means that the person would just get there foot on the brake pedal when the collision would occur.