East Broken Arrow residents express concerns about a section of State Highway 51

Thursday, January 6th 2005, 10:30 am
By: News On 6

Friends and family are still stunned by the death of five family members in a traffic accident in Broken Arrow Wednesday. Shanna Tottress and her four daughters died in the wreck.

Some who live nearby say the road where it happened is notoriously dangerous.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells did some checking on the stretch of road where the accident happened is on state Highway 51 between 81st Street and Oneta Road.

It's a busy highway, and the curve near the accident scene is called 'dead man's curve' by some local residents. They say vehicles lose traction on the curve when the pavement gets even a little wet.

Rebecca Fort has lived out there 23 years and says she drove by the accident scene and knew immediately what happened. "I knew what happened. I saw it. I was going to take my daughter to get her car fixed and I saw it and I thought I know what happened." She says you don't have to be speeding to hydroplane there.

The Broken Arrow Police Department says the accident resulted from the driver losing control, but say neither the road not the curve are particularly unsafe.

And a representative from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation told the News on 6, that stretch of road was evaluated in 2003 and rated as good, and there are no plans for improvement in the near future.