Local News

Residents Know Firsthand How Dangerous Highway 87 Is For Motorists

Posted December 1, 1999

— A terrible car accident killed two people Wednesday night on Highway 87 in southern Cumberland County. Neighbors say this will not be the last time someone dies, and they want something done.

However,state troopersandDepartment of Transportationofficials say they are doing what they can to keep other motorists from being killed.

Thelma Caulder, 28, and her 6-year-old son, Kaliff, were waiting to turn left off of Highway 87 when they were hit from behind. The hit put them right in the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer. Both were killed instantly.

Ron Berry, a motorist, almost died the same way just a short time ago, trying to make the same left hand turn.

"The car behind me was going at a high rate of speed, as everybody usually does on this road, and it hit me in the back and slid me in front of the oncoming car," Berry said. "It hit me on the side and just basically twisted my car into pieces."

"I could have died very easily had I been pushed out in front of an 18-wheeler," Berry said.

Residents who live along this stretch of two-lane road say it is very dangerous.

They have seen truck drivers and motorists try dangerous moves, and they have seen accidents, lots of them.

Coster Burns, a resident on Highway 87, almost lost his son when he, too, was hit from behind.

"He was going to turn in, and a tractor-trailer rear-ended him as he was getting ready to turn," Burns said. "It knocked him out in the field."

DOT officials put up a crossing light on this stretch of road less than a year ago after residents complained. They say it has helped cut down on accidents.

There have been 67 accidents on Highway 87 this year, 41 of them involving injuries.

State troopers say they do their best to ticket speeders and inattentive drivers, but some still refuse to obey the law.

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