Five people have filed personal injury suits against the West Virginia Division of Highways, alleging haphazard traffic control caused a vehicular accident.
Individual suits were filed against the state’s DOH in West Virginia’s Kanawha County Circuit Court on February 19 by Shawn Barley, Samantha Barley, Glenda Balser, Kathleen Balser, and Kenneth Balser.
The suits concern a crash that took place on May 18, 2008, at the intersection of U.S. 60 and the Montgomery Bridge.
According to the suit, Shawn Barley was driving the vehicle involved and the other four were passengers in the same car.
The plaintiffs claim as they were crossing the Montgomery Bridge, another vehicle driven by Gary L. Brown collided with theirs.
According to the plaintiffs, temporary traffic control devices, such as orange barrels, concrete barriers, and portable stop signs, had been put in place by the DOH while the agency was cleaning up a nearby rockslide.
The complaints allege the traffic pattern in the area had been significantly altered by the DOH.
The suit says that the impact caused Shawn Barley’s vehicle to be forced up against the barrier onto its side, nearly over the side of the bridge.
The plaintiffs allege that no visible traffic control signal had been put in place to warn motorists crossing the bridge on either side.
According to the claims, Shawn Barley only saw that a portable stop sign had been set up “in the general vicinity” of the intersection after he was able to exit the wrecked vehicle.
According to the complaints, the stop sign had not been anchored and had been turned sideways where it was not visible to motorists. The plaintiffs claim the wind, a passing car, or some other force could have caused the sign to move and that it should have been anchored to the road by the DOH.The plaintiffs further allege that a previous wreck had occurred in the area that was said to have been caused by the traffic control set-up. The claims say that the DOH had been contacted by local law enforcement over their concerns with the “dangerous” intersection.