Parents: Fix ‘death road’ before more innocent children die ... like ours did


April 18, 2007 at 1:47 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Allen and Sandra Washington believe 21,000 signatures from concerned citizens on a petition will motivate the Gov. Kathleen Blanco to fix Hwy. 61.
Photo courtesy of the Washington Family
Allen and Sandra Washington believe 21,000 signatures from concerned citizens on a petition will motivate the Gov. Kathleen Blanco to fix Hwy. 61.
Still-grieving Allen and Sandra Washington have launched a dramatic crusade to persuade Gov. Kathleen Blanco to put safety barriers along the stretch of Airline Highway in St. Charles Parish where their four children died in a horrific car accident in 2003.

And they believe 21,000 signatures from concerned citizens on a petition will motivate the governor to work with the Lousiana Department of Transportation to correct the problem.

“I can’t imagine another adult, child, or human being dying the way my four children did, and my husband and I will, do something about it,” Sandra said.

The car driven by Sandra’s oldest daughter Rachel, plummeted into the canal that runs along U.S. 61, also known as Airline Hwy., killing her and three other siblings, the day before her 21st birthday.

The Washingtons will gather signatures via the internet and on paper.

St. Charles Parish Councilman Richard Duhe is involved, too.

He wrote a letter to the governor on hehalf of the Washingtons, requesting a meeting to discuss the problem.

He hopes the matter will be resolved before Blanco’s term in office ends this November.

“It’s been three weeks and neither the governor nor any member of her staff has responded to my requests for a meeting,” said Duhe.

“Even if she doesn’t want the meeting, she could have the courtesy to have someone on her administrative team to respond.

Washingtons will be gathering the first set of signatures at Destrahan Disconunt Pharmacy located on Ormand Boulevard, on Monday, April 23 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“I admire this family very much. I respect what they are trying to do - and they have my support 100 percent,” Duhe said.

A “barricade study” conducted by state highway officials in August 2004 warned that “barrier installation (on Airline Hwy) will provide less space for emergency parking and prohibit recreational parking. Barriers will impede rescue efforts ... (we do) not recommend installation of a barrier as a warranted measure at this location.”

To which Sandra says: “How many more people have to die before they correct this problem?”

To participate in “Project Sign for Sam and Her Siblings”, call 1-866-902-9412 or 504-305-2980. Send email inquiries to soarwillbless@cox.net. The signatures will be delivered to the governor’s mansion, June 5, 2007 which would have been Samantha Allen, the second child’s 21st birthday.




View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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