Six years ago a man named James Wilcox was killed in front of the Pilot Travel Center on Greencastle Pike here in Hagerstown when a tractor-trailer pulled out in front of his Chevy Astro van.
I was working at Pilot at the time. The site of the Wilcox accident was a dangerous area, with big trucks pulling out into traffic, much of which was fresh off the exit ramp from I-70 and moving very fast. One possible solution discussed was installing a traffic signal at the northernmost exit from the Pilot truck parking lot and rerouting the truck traffic through there, as opposed to the intersection with French Lane, which already had a traffic signal, and was much closer to the highway. This past February, six years after the accident that killed Wilcox, and four years after another fatal accident at the French Lane intersection, the Maryland State Highway Administration and the Washington County Commissioners discussed the possibility of installing a traffic light at the northernmost truck exit.
Last Thursday the son of Maryland Delegate LeRoy Myers, who was also the nephew of County Commission President John Barr, was killed when he came off the interstate too fast on his motorcycle and was hit by a truck pulling out from Pilot.
One week later, the Herald-Mail announced that the State Highway Administration has applied for a permit to install the traffic light. A reader left a comment to the story that read in part, “It’s really sad that a State Del. son had to be in a fatal accident for this to be done.”
Sadder still to see how swift politicians move in service of their own interests compared to those of the people.