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Our View: More safety needed on canyon road

Posted: October 7, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 7, 2011 1:55 a.m.

In light of the two recent car crashes in the same spot on Lake Hughes Road, it’s hard to ignore that some of our roads aren’t as safe as could be.

Lake Hughes resident David La Vau, 67, spent six days at the bottom of a ravine after he was blinded by oncoming headlights while driving on the winding road one night, and plunged down roughly 200 feet, suffering several fractures and a dislocated shoulder. Were it not for the efforts of his family and an investigator, his odds of survival were not good.

That could have been considered a freak accident with a happy ending — except for the fact that La Vau’s car landed nearly on top of the vehicle of 88-year-old Melvin Gelfand, who, unfortunately, did not survive that crash. Though Gelfand’s body, still in his car, was in the ravine for 16 days, there’s no telling just how long it could have been until he was found if La Vau hadn’t landed in the same area.

We live in a valley, and that inherently means that we have mountainous, winding roads surrounding us.

And those roads, especially at night, can be treacherous. But we can work to make them safer for drivers.

One push is from the La Vau family, who are now trying to get more guardrails installed on Lake Hughes Road in the area where their father and Gelfand both had their separate instances of leaving the road and crashing to the ravine floor.

This is a good idea in every sense of the word.

The La Vau and Gelfand families have been through much worry and anguish in the last couple of weeks because there was virtually nothing standing as protection between their loved ones and a deadly ravine on a public highway.

We encourage local officials to take a look at that stretch of road, and perhaps others, to improve travel on them and keep more tragic incidents from taking place in the future.

It seems that placing guardrails would be the most logical course of action, although transportation experts might have a better idea.


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