Grieving community members push for safety lanes on FM-1417

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

SHERMAN, TEXAS -- On the same road, just hours apart, two accidents took the lives of two beloved men.

The morning of October 4th, Jessie Elliot was riding his motorcycle on FM-1417, when a vehicle rear-ended him.

That evening, a car was trying to make a left-hand turn off FM-1417, when Vietnam veteran Bob Hillerby slammed into the back of the car on his motorcycle.

"When you lose one life it's enough, but actually on that day we lost two lives on FM-1417," Nancy Knapp said.

Knapp is behind a grassroots movement to add safety lanes along FM-1417. She's meeting with TXDOT Friday.

"The need for safety turn lanes would definitely benefit the drivers because drivers move much faster on that road," Knapp said.

This fall, there were five major accidents on FM-1417, three of them deadly.

Jessie Elliot's widow, along with Hillerby's Vietnam veteran friend, are joining Knapp's movement.

"I can't promise that it will prevent all accidents. I think a safety turn lane/center lane there is a good idea," Elliot's widow Kaye Elliot said.

"The person that oversees this or whatever may not see that there's a problem there," Hillerby's friend Jerry Wrenn said.

They say the problem is that there's not enough space on FM-1417, where drivers travel too fast, well beyond the 55 mile per hour speed limit.

TXDOT told News 12 back in October that they investigate roadways when there is a high number of accidents, but FM-1417 has not reached that number yet.

"And I think Bob's life is well worth making a movement to get project FM-1417 safety turn lanes enacted as soon as possible," Knapp said.

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