For more than two years, Diane and Jeff Cole have been fighting what seems to be a fruitless battle to improve driver safety along Airport Road in Destin. A curve in the road near their Quail Run condominium does seem to be unreasonably dangerous. There have been a number of serious car accidents at the curve — at least one of them fatal — since the Coles moved into the area. So why isn’t the City of Destin taking action?
“‘Dead Man’s Curve’ still exists on Airport Road,” wrote Diane Cole in a recent column in the Destin Log. “I have returned to ask why, yet again.”
As she should. On Memorial Day of 2009, an 87-year-old Destin man was killed when he apparently took the curve too quickly and his car left the road to strike a gate.
In an earlier Destin Log story, Cole also recounted an accident in which a pickup truck left the roadway in the same spot and rolled over at least twice. Luckily, the young man driving the pickup escaped serious injury.
“You hear a thud and then you hear nothing, and that’s the eeriest thing ever, that nothing after the thud,” Cole said. She keeps flip-flops and an umbrella by the door, knowing that another victim of a car accident may need her help at any time.
“I still cringe when my kids announce there’s been another accident,” she writes in her recent column, “as I’m so afraid that one of these times, it’s going to be really bad and I do not want my family to witness this.”
Airport Takes Accidents on the Curve Seriously; Why Not Destin?
Back in 2009, the Destin Log story led to Destin Mayor Craig Barker promising to look into the issue. In her column this weekend, Cole reports that a number of proposed solutions, including a guard rail, have been turned down.
She also points out that the airport erected concrete barriers in May to prevent cars from accidentally veering onto the property when a Lexus left the road and hit a plane.
Clearly, people are responsible for driving safely. But when month after month people misread the road to the extent that they veer off into the woods, it does seem that something is amiss with the design of the road.
Do you think Destin should install additional signs, reduce the speed limit, or otherwise increase road safety on Airport Road?
- The Destin Log, “The squeaky wheel should get attention when it comes to dangerous curve on Airport Road,” Diane Cole, January 10, 2011
- The Destin Log, “‘You hear a thud and then you hear nothing’: Destin woman says vehicle accidents are too common on Airport Road near her home,” Wendy Victora, July 8, 2009