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Drifting snow and wind apparent cause of truck accident at Suicide Corners

Accidents will happen. That certainly appeared to be the case last night at Suicide Corners after a tractor-trailer struck the home of Tom and Debbie Douglas.

The intersection has a reputation for being dangerous. But it appears that none of the factors sometimes attributed to the intersection contributed to last night's crash.

Suicide Corners is the intersection of East Road and Route 20 in Bethany.

A year ago, the Douglases were worried the state would take their home to build a roundabout to improve traffic safety at the intersection, but community pressure helped convince the DOT to scuttle the plan.

It's been at least five years since there has been an accident at the intersection and more than a decade since the last fatal accident there.

Tom Douglas thinks improved signs and lighting have helped make the intersection safer and DOT is planning to add more safety enhancements this summer.

There was a moment at about 3:30 a.m. when he thought, "here we go again."

"We were asleep and we heard a big bang," Douglas said. "It didn't sound like a car wreck and the house just shook a lot. I thought a tree had come down. It was windy last night. I looked out the window and I saw the car lights. I saw the driver looking under the truck, almost like he'd hit another car, so I yelled out to him and he said no. When I came downstairs it was like, 'wow! what a mess.' "

The truck knocked a hole in the living room wall, pushing a couch well into the room and sending debris flying.

Douglas said the driver was pulling an empty trailer. The south blowing wind had caused a great deal of snow to pile up on Route 20 on the hill west of the Douglas residence. The empty box, the wind and the snow caused the truck to jackknife. The truck actually hit the house at an angle, and with the impact of the cab, the trailer whipped around to the east, pulling the cab back toward Route 20.

Nobody was injured in the accident.

Top photo: Douglas explains what happened to his house when the truck hit it. Pictures below provided by Tom Douglas.

Greg Rada
Greg Rada's picture
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Joined: Jan 8 2014

Tom is one of the teachers for the EMT and AEMT classes, great guy. We had talked about this before class. The damage could have been a lot worse, but still quite expensive. Also, one good suggestion he made a couple years ago was rumble strips further up the road. Way cheaper than all the other suggestions.

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