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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Ginia Location: Atoka on Mar 6, 2008 at 06:12 AM
    I would like to thank Mr. Elvis P. for his tacky comments about it being trash..I will thank you to know that 2 years ago we lost a cousin, on an oklahoma hwy. and the cross that is up for him is not tacky nor is it trash. We put it up to remember him, and to let others know that when you drink and drive it kills. You should be watching the road ways and not the ditches any way! So please,if you think these are trash..you should have your head checked..you must not have ever lost anyone you loved to the road ways. And yes we could and do visit the grave, but we get comfort in going to the last place that he was, and the place were GOD called him home..P.S. We thank the OKLAHOMA HWY PATROL that helped us put up the cross...
  • by DIANA on Nov 7, 2007 at 08:02 AM
    I HAD A MEMORIAL IN MY YARD AND I THINK THEY CAUSE MORE WRECKS PEOPLE PAYING ATTENTION TO THE MEMORIALS THAN THE ROAD AS FAR AS PEOPLE VISITING THE SIGHTS FOR MEMORIALS THE VICTIMS ARENT THERE I AGREE GO TO A CEMETARY OR CHURCH OR IN THE PRIVACY OF YOUR HOMES GOING TO THE MEMORIAL THE FAMILIES KNOW WHERE IT HAPPENED THEY DONT NEED A MARKER
  • by Terri Location: Ardmore on Nov 6, 2007 at 08:18 PM
    I think they should be taken up. The people that have to mow the right of ways have to try to avoid all of those obstacles and this could cause them an accident. why not visit the cemetary?
  • by billy Location: denison on Nov 6, 2007 at 04:31 PM
    I agre with mickey but at the same time a croos will do it you do not have to put up a big tado one white cross does the trick i had friends die in a car crash and that was all we put up the rest is at the graves
  • by mickey Location: davis on Nov 6, 2007 at 07:46 AM
    you people are missing the point of the memorials along highway 199. I worked most of the wrecks and this is one way to tell people to get their head out of the orifice that it is in and pay attention to your driving!!! Not on your cell phone, arguing with someone in the car, or drinking. Every wreck could have been avoided and lives saved with a little attention to the road. The "trash" that you call it along the road is a reminder to the living to not make the same mistake that someone else has made that has caused a family to have to go through the heartache that they have had to go through. I may not work in Dickson any longer but I remember every wreck like it was yesterday and every time I went on duty I tried to change the outlook that people had on driving that deadly stretch of road. Leave the memorials and think of the hurt that they stand for and make a difference out on the road.
  • by RDK Location: Ardmore on Nov 6, 2007 at 07:28 AM
    I disagree with highway accident memorials. I lost my brother to a car accident, I have enough trouble driving by the very spot without physically seeing a reminder of the tragedy. I chose to remember him how he lived and not the spot that he died. I would not put good money into a cross or flowers in the ditch; put it together for a scholarship or plant a tree, do something for the betterment of a child or the community in their name. Don't create a hazard or an eyesore that has to be mowed around. Think past yourselves. If there were to be a marker for every life lost on a highway; there would not be enough room. If these markers are rather large and can't be cleared, would they possibly be responsible for another life? Right of ways are meant to be clear for that very reason.
  • by Samantha Location: Ringling on Nov 6, 2007 at 06:19 AM
    I understand the lady's point of view and it does effect a lot of people especially my family which are the Mays family and we lost our loved ones on that road i pray that it never has to happen to anyone else and that is the exact reason why they should expand the road.
  • by Elvis P. Location: Memphis, TN on Nov 5, 2007 at 08:53 PM
    I don't know what's the bigger shame: that some people can't remember others for how they lived instead of how they died, or that they think the best way to honor someone is through a tacky pile of trash left in a ditch. Quit embarrassing your deceased loved ones with that nonsense. Leave flowers at the cemetary the way sane people do. If you want a public "memorial" for that person, do something useful with your money like establishing a scholarship in their name or contribute to that person's favorite charity.
  • by Bill Location: Ardmore on Nov 5, 2007 at 06:52 PM
    I don't understand the concern with memoralizing a place where someone met a violent death. Widening this road will likely prevent many more deaths. I have told all my family if I die in an auto accicent to please remember me where I lived, not where I died.
  • by anonymous Location: Sherman on Nov 5, 2007 at 05:52 PM
    While the idea behind the memorials are nice. They become a traffic hazard on the highway. People need to keep their eyes on the roadway and not on flowers and crosses.
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