- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - State officials have announced a series of improvements on U.S. 278 following a church’s request that something be done about a deadly stretch of the highway in southeastern Arkansas.

The First United Methodist Church in Monticello sent a letter to Arkansas highway officials after the August death of Carly Avery, 21, on the sharp, S-shaped part of the highway known as “Dead Man’s Curve.” Authorities said she lost control of her vehicle in the curve that rainy morning, crossing over into a tractor-trailer’s path.

“It just struck us,” said parishioner Cliff Gibson, a local attorney. “It troubled us. Somebody so young. It was time to do something. And we did.”

The letter was written and signed by two dozen members of an adult Sunday School, including Gibson. A total of 52 congregation members signed it.

Highway officials initiated a study to see what could be done to make the road section safer, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/12hRu4C ) reported.

“The most telling thing we learned from the study is that wet pavement crashes occurred at a rate over three times higher than the statewide average,” Highway Department director Scott Bennett said in a statement last week announcing the improvements.

Crews have installed larger “Sharp Curve Ahead” signs and replaced the top 2 inches of asphalt on the highway section to increase traction and visibility, the department said.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com

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