Highway 199 memorials

By: Teddy Safo Email
By: Teddy Safo Email

DICKSON, Okla. -- It's the main road through communities like Dickson and Mannsville.

Where thousands of vehicles pass everyday, but it's also a stretch of highway where the worst has happened.

At least one fatal accident happened near the school.

"I don't think anyone is in the Dickson school area that something like this hasn't affected them."

Many who travel 199 will never forget the road's tragic history, Including Althea Raines.

She says her husband built several memorials like these and Raines is wondering what will happen to them when roadwork starts.

"ODOT is going to move them over, or we are going to move them over, or are the families? Whats going to happen?"

Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials say they understand how much the memorials mean, but once roadwork begins, families will have to move them.

"We don't have any provisions in our statues that allow memorials to be placed on state right of way. It's essentially one of those issues that we understand the sensitivity issue so we just overlook it."

While Raines and others who've placed items in the right-of-way support the highway expansion, she just doesn't want anyone to forget the lives lost. And the loved ones who pushed for the expansion that would make travel safer.

"We have the things that mean a lot to our hearts and this is things like the cross behind me. My husband built that cross the day after the McDougall accident and he had no idea he would build so many."

Raines says she has talked about the idea of putting up a permanent memorial once the roadwork is complete.

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