WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -It’s been years, but Wendy Grimm still remembers hearing the sound of an elderly man’s car crashing into a tree next to her road. This week she passed another deadly accident on her way home in the same curve of Greenville Loop Road.
“I look out to the side and I literally see CPR being administered to the person laying in the middle of the road. I get chills saying it and remembering it. But for me, it’s the last straw,” said Wendy Grimm.
A memorial of faded artificial flowers hangs on a tree near Leeward Lane for the elderly gentleman. Further down the road past the elementary school, neighbors have posted a yellow “please slow down” sign ahead of another memorial comprising basketballs, a white cross and a sign that says, “Gone too soon."
The mother of four has lived on the Kingston/Darby curve on Greenville Loop Road for five years now and says she sees close calls and cars crossing the center line every day.
“My life flashes before my eyes coming and going and I have four children in the car," said Grimm. "It’s scary and there’s signs that say 25 mph but nobody goes 25.”
She’s reached out to the city for help and city leaders told her traffic studies don’t support making any changes. Grimm says she was frustrated with the city’s reply.
“Did you even hear what I said? Like, I’m telling you your signs are not sufficient; something needs to be done.”
City traffic engineers say multiple traffic studies have been conducted on Greenville Loop Road over the past two years. One found that the percent of high risk speeding was less than two percent.
Researchers also found that the average speed in the curve was measured to be 36 mph. While it was more than 10 mph faster than the advisory speed limit of 25 mph, officials say the reading isn’t out of the ordinary.
In 2018, an in-depth study was conducted of all crashes on Greenville Loop that involved cars running off the road over the past decade.
“After review of the 54 crashes, the study concluded that speed was not the primary factor for crashes on that road. Primary reasons for the crashes included driver impairment, driver inattention, driver fatigue/medical issues, and swerving to avoid object in road,” a statement from the city noted.
On average, 10,000 vehicles safely travel Greenville Loop Road each day, the city adds.
“Given the Kingston/Darby curve signage already exceeds the guidelines from the Federal Highway Administration and it has been determined additional signage would not mitigate the primary causes of vehicle crashes on Greenville Loop Rd, Traffic Engineering has no plans to change the existing traffic control devices on Greenville Loop Rd,” city traffic and engineering said in an email.
Grimm, though, is determined to make a change. She’s reaching out to her neighbors for help and shes’s prepared to take her concerns to city council.
“Now I’m completely on a mission. I love this house, I love this neighborhood; I don’t want to move but this death curve isn’t worth it to me...my life flashing before my eyes and my children each day.”