Construction Zone Concern


FAULKNER COUNTY, Ark.– A family grieves and the community mourns the loss of a 5-year-old girl killed by a truck on Highway 64 last Friday.

People placed crosses and flowers at the site where a truck hit the child after state police said the girl ran out into the road.

We reported this heartbreaking accident happened in Faulkner County on Friday night. We reported the girls mother ran into the highway to try to save her. She was also injured.

While the family grieves and the community mourns, neighbors said where that tragedy happened is no stranger to danger.

People told us they are concerned speeding in the construction zone.

We want to make it clear according to the Arkansas State Police preliminary fatal accident summary, there was no documentation of speed in that heartbreaking accident.

The final crash report is not complete.

People who live and work off that stretch of highway said speeding is an issue and they think they know why.

Cars zoomed by Raydale’s welding shop that sits off Highway 64 near Vilonia on Monday.

Raydale Grissom said, “I tell people that it’s gonna be a Interstate 64 by the time it’s (construction zone) finished.”

Grissom’s business moves closer to the lanes as construction to wide the road moves forward.

He said, “It’s just like a freeway. The divided highway up there (with a) speed limit (of) 60, 65 and when people come off of it they just keep on going.They don’t slow down much.”

We met Bernice Wells who lives off the portion of the highway under construction.

She said, “It’s scary. I hope they don’t go through my house.”

Her house is just down the road from Raydale’s Welding.

“You know, I really don’t know what the speed limit is. I imagine it’ll go up once they get all this finished,” she said.

Grissom said, “I they don’t have signs posted like they need to.”

We checked with the Arkansas Department of Transportation about the required signage.

A spokesperson told us there should be three speed limit signs on each side of the road in that nearly 8 mile construction zone.

When ARDOT looked into it after we called, spokesperson Danny Straessle confirmed one sign was missing and would be replaced.

We also learned it is “not a big enough project that requires extra signage,” according to ARDOT.

Wells said, “No. I go right down this road here. This little road I don’t even get on this road anymore.”

To slow down traffic ARDOT said it’s important to point out signs won’t do the trick.

Grissom said, “I haven’t seen nobody from the county.”

We reached out to the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office for comment. FCSO spokesperson said state police enforce the speed in that area. ASP told us in the construction zone AR Highway Police enforce the speed.

An Arkansas Highway Police spokesperson said, “We will look to see how many accidents have occurred in this area. Then we’ll make a plan of action from there.”

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