Store per­son­nel de­serve ku­dos for re­sponse to wrecks

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE - Let­ters@nwadg.com

Thank you to re­porter Bill Bow­den for his Jan. 2 ar­ti­cle ad­dress­ing the is­sue of run­away trucks on High­way 43 through Ponca in New­ton County. Truck­ers routed by GPS are un­aware of the steep­ness of the road. They lose their brakes down the moun­tain and come through town at a high rate of speed or, in seven cases, lost con­trol and crashed.

I want to add some in­for­ma­tion to his cov­er­age on the af­ter-ef­fects of these crashes. Three trucks over­turned in the ex­act same spot, most re­cently on Nov. 9 and Dec. 22, all in the ditch across from the Lost Val­ley Ca­noe and Lodg­ing Store right in Ponca. Their staff de­serves recog­ni­tion for pro­vid­ing im­me­di­ate med­i­cal at­ten­tion to the driv­ers’ in­juries, traf­fic con­trol due to downed power lines across the high­way, con­tact­ing emer­gency per­son­nel and county work crews.

Their busi­ness has been the only one to ex­pe­ri­ence any property dam­age and fi­nan­cial loss from these ac­ci­dents while the rest of us only lost power for a few hours. In ad­di­tion, they had to man­age the cleanup and re­pairs each time of their own property. Kris Jor­gen­son, owner, has been a per­sis­tent lone voice with the state high­way de­part­ment re­quest­ing ap­pro­pri­ate road sig­nage for truck­ers since the worst crash four years ago. From Mr. Bow­den’s ar­ti­cle, it sounds like signs may fi­nally be on the way but it is un­for­tu­nate it took two crashes within five weeks to get the de­part­ment’s at­ten­tion.

My busi­ness is next to Lost Val­ley’s and I have wit­nessed one of the ac­ci­dents as well as trucks bar­rel­ing through town with brakes smoking on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. I thank the staff at Lost Val­ley Store for be­ing proac­tive about the safety of our com­mu­nity as well as all the vis­i­tors to the Buf­falo Na­tional River. SHEILAH ROENFELDT

Ponca

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