Lt. Tanner Davis, a police officer in Clover, knows how much death hurts when he has to tell someone their loved one is gone. He’s seen murders and traffic deaths and more. Monday night, Davis told the Chester County Council that his father did not have to die in a stretch of road called ‘Deadman’s Curve,’ and asked officials to stop the dying.
Davis’s father, Clyde, 62, died March 7 when the logging truck he was driving was hit head-on west of Chester along the stretch of S.C. 9 often referred to as ‘Deadman’s Curve.’
“We are talking about human lives here,” Tanner Davis told the council as family members wiped back tears. “Whatever needs to be done.”
The council agreed unanimously to ask South Carolina transportation officials to look at the road and see if changes can be made to stop future deaths. It is unclear how many people have died on the stretch over decades, but it is at least a half-dozen, and emergency officials for decades have called the spot ‘Deadman’s Curve’ because of the awful death toll.
Loved ones have put up a memorial with American flag and helmet at the site, and the demolished guardrail has been replaced, but no new barriers can replace a father killed on a deadly road that state officials have known about for decades.
The other driver in the wreck, Jacky Blalock, 51, of Lancaster, also died. Police said Blalock’s van crossed the center line in the curve and hit Davis’ truck head on. The van burned and the truck was demolished.
The spot is so deadly that the resolution passed unanimously by Chester officials even called the design of the roadway “treacherous.”
The March 7 crash has raised awareness of the problem and it needs to be addressed by the state, said Shane Stuart, Chester County Supervisor.
The highway is state maintained and Chester may be able to use money it receives specifically for transportation to help fix the curve that has claimed so many people, said Councilman John Wayne Holcombe.
State officials will begin looking at the site immediately, Holcombe said. How long it will take to study the curve and a cost to change the design remains unclear.
Fixing the problem may help other families not have to deal with the terrible reality of losing someone on a road that has such a terrible reputation that it is known by the community and those who try and save lives alike as ‘Deadman’s Curve,’ Tanner Davis told the council.
Davis said his father was a fine man, as he is sure Blalock, the other driver who died, was, too.
“We can’t allow it to happen anymore,’ Tanner Davis said.