Brandy Parker and her family are terrified to go to bed at night.
They’re afraid they might wake up to the peculiar sound of a car hurtling through the air, flying off the road and crashing through their bedrooms.
And they have good reason to be afraid. It’s happened at least three times before.
Parker and her family live at a section of McDaniel Mill Road, near Adair Court, where the combination of curve and hill, when taken at a high speed, sends cars flying off the road and into the nearby homes. Into their home.
And for nearly two decades, nothing has been done about it.
The single-vehicle crash that killed a 26-year-old Covington man Feb. 18 was only the most recent in a string of crashes there. The car went off the road, caught in culvert, and flipped into the air, ripping through Parker’s yard and crashing against a tree in the house next to hers.
In 2009, a patrol deputy responding to a burglary in progress also crashed into Parker’s house. Luckily, no one was hurt in that situation, even though her parents-in-law were home at the time.
Cars have also crashed into Parker’s house or yard in 2010, 2008, 2007, and 2004.
Parker, who bought the house in 2007, said no one told her about the road situation. “Had we known this house had this many dangerous episodes, we wouldn’t have bought this house,” she said. “We were young. We thought we were doing the right thing – buying a house somewhere nice and safe.”
The fatal crash was where she drew the line. With the state of the economy and housing market, moving was not an option for Parker.
So she recently spoke before the Board of Commissioners, pleading for help.
“There have been multiple fatalities dating as far back as 1996,” she said. “This is a residential street with families and children. This is a very time sensitive matter. Every day you wait is another day someone might die.”
She asked that the road be graded down from Cambridge Creek to Klondike Road, with guardrails on both sides of the road, and the speed limit lowered from 45 to 35 miles per hour.
County Chief of Staff Greg Pridgeon said that section of road was on a list of about 15 projects submitted to the Georgia Department of Transportation for funding and an expedited response has been requested.
However, Pridgeon pointed out that the speed of the drivers is what made the road unsafe.
About $170,000 is being requested for the list of 15 projects. For the McDaniel Mill Road project, guard rails and other improvements are being requested.
Parker doubts that’ll be enough.
She said she can see from her bedroom the spot where the 26-year-old boy recently died.
Parker said her 12-year-old son suffers traumatic stress.
“It’s hard to get him to go to sleep at night. He’s scared he might have a car on top of him.”
(Editor's Note: A correction/clarification was made in the original article to the amount of funds being requested for the projects submitted to GDOT.)