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Close call in wreck at Beach intersection turns victim into advocate for stoplight
Date published: 2/8/2013
BY REBECCA BARNABI
FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Jean Staples' first reaction after being involved in an automobile crash just outside Colonial Beach two months ago was fear for her own life.
But after surviving the close call, she has been focused on making sure other drivers don't find themselves in a similar situation.
Staples was driving east along State Route 205 on Dec. 5 when she approached the intersection at Hall's Supermarket to turn left to where she lives on Stony Knoll Road.
A vehicle coming from Pomona Road (State Route 628) entered the intersection at the same time, hitting Staples' car from the side and slamming her into a truck stopped at the intersection on Stony Knoll.
Staples, who had never been involved in a car accident before, said she fled her battered car quickly out of fear that it might explode.
"Just because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I almost lost my life," said Staples, who grew up in Colonial Beach and turns 64 this month.
At the hospital, Staples was X-rayed and underwent CT scans. She had no broken bones or internal injuries, but there was severe bruising of her chest from the seatbelt and airbag.
For several weeks following the accident, Staples slept sitting up in a chair to ease the pain from her injuries.
The intersection, located at Hall's Supermarket and DeAtley's Garage, has a stop sign for motorists on Pomona and flashing signal lights both ways on Route 205. But Staples wants a stoplight installed to make it safer.
The closing of Route 205 at the bridge near Wilkerson's Restaurant in the fall turned Longfield Road into a detour. However, many motorists turn off Longfield onto Pomona as a shortcut.
According to Staples, the intersection has been a problem since she graduated high school in 1967.
"It is not a temporary problem due to the construction going on at Wilkerson's [the Route 205 bridge]," she said.
She asked the Colonial Beach Town Council on Jan. 10 to join the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors and the Colonial Beach Fire Department and EMS in pushing for a stoplight at the intersection.