A grieving family wants to make a Washington County road safer after their daughter died in a car crash on the road near Vera.
When Nikki Winton was killed about one mile east of Vera on County Road EW3900, it was a tragedy. Now her family wants to make sure it’s not a tragedy that happens to another family.
"If I had a concrete barrier right here, nothing in front or behind, and she was bulls-eye right on that tree," said Nikki’s father, Rick Winton.
Rick and his wife and daughter believe the stretch of road is dangerous, with a curve that sneaks up on you, no warning signs or reduced speed limit.
They would like to see a concrete barrier added to the side of the road.
"Because you can't see it, but there's a creek right there," Rick said.
They believe Nikki swerved to miss something in the road, over corrected, then slammed into a tree and went down into the creek.
She didn't survive
When Roger Rowe found Nikki, the water was up to her neck. He agrees it's a dangerous stretch and a barrier would help.
"There's something about it, more of a curve than people think," he said.
Nikki was set to graduate from Collinsville Monday night, but instead, there was only her picture.
"I'd rather her walk across the stage - you wait 13 years for that," Rick said.
Two years ago, the Winton's 22-year-old son Kyle also died in a car wreck about a mile away.
Rick said, "Still can't believe it, still can't wrap our heads around it, that we're here again in two short years."
They want to turn their grief into action and said they won’t stop until improvements are made to the road because they don't want to see another life lost.
Washington County Commissioner Mike Dunlap said he'd be glad to look at the road and see if warning signs could be added and will ask an engineer if a barrier is feasible.