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Homeowner, city seek solutions after 6 cars crash into Raleigh home

Posted October 27

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— A public meeting Thursday night attempted to find a solution to a dangerous intersection near a Raleigh home.

At least half a dozen vehicles have crashed into the home at the intersection of Fawn Glen Drive and New Hope Road over the past several years and homeowner Carlo Bernarte wants the state Department of Transportation to fix the problem so he can stop fixing his home.

Bernarte said drivers on New Hope Road have crashed into his home on Fawn Glen Drive in 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015 and, most recently, in August. Two of the crashes have been fatal.

"When they hit the stop sign, the stop sign ricocheted and went through the window," Bernarte said, recounting one of the crashes.

Bernarte said that stop sign barely missed hitting one of his children.

Road crews have installed different measures to protect the property, including installing reflective markers on the pavement, reflective inserts on guard rails and speed activated LED chevron lights, but serious crashes continue.

City and state engineers said the problem has less to do with the design of the road and more to do with drivers breaking traffic laws.

"Unfortunately, the vast majority of the crashes here are people who well exceed the speed limit and are drinking at the same time," said DOT engineer J.R. Hopkins.

DOT engineers have detailed crashes that have happened at the intersection since 2002. In all, 20 crashes have occurred over 14 years and 17 of those crashes involved drivers who were speeding or impaired.

The city's proposed solution is closing Fawn Glen Drive and extending the guardrail. That suggestion didn't get much support from a crowd looking for a solution with less impact on the community, particularly the Bernarte family.

"I look into the eyes of those children who are scared to go to bed every night," said community member Chris Shaw.

Shaw brought to Thursday's meeting a petition filled with more than 30,000 signatures. She and others at the meeting want the city to condemn the house and tear it down, which city and state leaders say they're not in a position to do.

17 Comments

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  • Chris Redshaw Oct 28, 4:04 p.m.
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    Janet, he's been dropped once and almost twice. A few of the drivers including the 2 accidents that had 4 fatalities between them, no insurance. For now, apparently his insurance is keeping him but next accident without insurance, he'll have to go on State insurance at a premium expense. And I totally agree! Please, if you haven't, sign and share the petition, we have over 30K so far. Google Bernarte Petition and it will be in the first few entries. We aren't going to stop this fight.

  • Janet Ghumri Oct 28, 3:38 p.m.
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    There has to be a solution for an issue like this. I can't imagine that he can even get reasonable homeowners insurance (I suspect that at least a few of those speeding, drunken drivers are uninsured or under-insured). Add that to the time, cost, effort and stress of constantly repairing the house and I am surprised that it's gone on for so long! 20 years and it's still happening..... it's lucky that the homeowners haven't been injured. City of Raleigh, come on! They shouldn't have to live like this. The amount spent on all those 'fixes' has to be more than buying them out, by now!

  • Betsey Duggins Oct 28, 12:56 p.m.
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    Yes, DOT should have enough data to warrant something effective for these people. If Nascar can build accident absorbing walls, then these poor people should be protected and feel safer. That or buy the house and let them move!

  • Chris Redshaw Oct 28, 12:47 p.m.
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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The end of the road as in New Hope? The end of New Hope is Louisburg Rd which is 1/2 mile from Fawn Glen. This is a major street (4 lane), not residential, so they won't put speed bumps in, just like they wouldn't on Capital Blvd, Falls of Neuse, etc. It's not a feasible option for this road sadly. If you aren't familiar with New Hope or this area, do the street view on Google maps of 4101 Fawn Glen and you can get an idea that might show a bit better than the video does. Either way, hitting a speed bump at 80-120 MPH in an area so populated with homes, a church, daycare, etc... could be a disaster. Rumble strips were brought up as well, but they went on and on, and again, at 80-120MPH, plus how busy that road is, they've deemed them not feasible as well.

  • Rod Runner Oct 28, 12:47 p.m.
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    So then he'd have to keep fixing these barriers when they get hit, or have an eyesore and ineffective barriers in his front yard? What a great solution.

  • John Townsend Oct 28, 11:30 a.m.
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    You put the speed bumps in well before the end of the road.

  • Chris Redshaw Oct 28, 10:09 a.m.
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    3 words for a car going 100MPH hitting a speed bump. Massive launch pad. Which then makes the only place in the house that is currently safe (2nd floor), unsafe as well. Speed bumps, traffic lights, etc are off the table from what they stated last night... if it was a residential street, speed bumps could be considered, but not an option on New Hope. Of the 20 accidents, 17 have been excessive speed and/or alcohol involved... they obviously haven't been obeying the posted speed, so that makes solutions that might seem like common sense, not an option because they won't stop the problem.

  • John Townsend Oct 28, 8:47 a.m.
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    Three words, massive speed bumps.

  • Barney Gravel Oct 28, 8:24 a.m.
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    Small trench, concrete, would not have to be more than 2' deep.

  • Ken Ackerman Oct 27, 10:47 p.m.
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    I think a nice reinforced stone barrier with spikes sticking out should do nicely. 20 accidents in 14 years at one intersection? Give me a break.

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