People are calling for change after a fatal car crash on Sunday night on Hobbs Island Road.
“Everyone passes through here, whether it’s to stop at the river or to come here to the gas station,” Avani Chaudahri said.
She works at Marathon’s gas station near Hobbs Island Road. She was anxious when she learned of the fatal sinking.
“I was like, ‘I hope that’s not one of my clients, because that would break my heart,'” Chaudahri said.
Huntsville Police believe 62-year-old James Michael Rusiniak died when he drove his sports car through road barriers and ran off the road into the Flint River on Sunday evening. His body was found inside the submerged car.
Now drivers fear it could happen again.
“I’m also concerned about my safety, when my loved ones are driving – heck, even my clients. My friends are driving on this road,” Kimberly O’Connor said.
Locals said they were always very careful when driving on the road, especially at night.
“It’s scary,” Avani Chaudahri said. “It’s so dark. There’s no light.”
“There’s just this big drop. It’s just a ravine – no guardrails, nothing,” O’Connor added.
Madison County Commissioner Craig Hill said guardrails were added to elevated areas of the road about a year ago. It was part of a million-dollar security project, but some said they didn’t notice these changes.
“I don’t see any guardrails there,” O’Connor said.
This causes some frustration.
“Honestly, what am I paying? What will my taxes be used for? O’Connor said.
Drivers said they wanted to see more guardrails installed, more lights added, and the road widened. They hope this will prevent further fatal accidents.
“It’s a life lost right there, and it wouldn’t have been if they had fixed what they needed to do,” Chaudahri said.
“It’s unfortunate. It’s very unfortunate that something like this has to happen for changes to be made, but hopefully changes will happen and that it will light a fire under someone, because it can happen. reproduce right now,” O’Connor said. “It may happen again tomorrow.”
Right now there are gates on Hobbs Island Road. They were laid this weekend to allow teams to replace a pipe that had deteriorated over time. The project should last about 10 days.
It is unknown if there are any other safety projects planned for Hobbs Island Road at this time.