Residents fearful 6 months after semi plowed into mobile home park

Posted on: 7:28 pm, March 22, 2013, by and , updated on: 07:57pm, March 22, 2013

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR) — A Chesterfield community is still waiting for concrete barrier to go up six months after a semi truck veered of I-95 and crashed into the mobile home park.

Looking back, June Fay cannot believe she and her neighbors survived this crash that nearly wiped out their homes.

“When it hit, it scared us all because we didn’t know what was going on,” said Fay. “We figured they’d get around to putting something up by now, but they haven’t.”

In fact, a guard rail is the only thing that stands between busy I-95 and the Holiday Mobile Home Park off Jefferson Davis highway in Chesterfield.

Last September, a truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel, ran off I-95 and slammed his big rig into one of the mobile homes.

That family injured during the accident later relocated to a new home within the park.

Six months after the wreck, resident Juan Edgar Trejo said he worries about his safety because his mobile home backs up to the highway.

“I hear noises and I get up every time at night because I don’t know it it’s going to happen,” said Trejo.

County leaders told CBS 6 News that they are working with VDOT to fix the problem by adding a concrete barrier to protect residents.

On the other hand, county officials said they cannot force management to do anything because the county doesn’t own the property.

CBS 6 went to the management office at Holiday Mobile Home Park to get their response.

However, property manager Joyce Heffernan said the park has been in touch with VDOT. The agency put a guard rail in, but they’re still waiting for VDOT to replace steel fence.

“We’re at the mercy of VDOT,” Heffernan said.

CBS 6 asked Heffernan, why not move those people living next to I-95 while they wait for a barrier to be built?

“I don’t think it would be feasible to move them back there. They have been all safe back there. I think this is fluke accident that we had,” said Heffernan.

Resident June Fay believes it’s going to take more than a guard rail to protect them.

“It should be some kind of barrier wall. I think either cement or something. Some kind of structure to make it harder to get through,” said Fay. “We’re hoping and praying that it doesn’t happen again. But you never know.”

VDOT’s Dawn Eischen told CBS 6 News the agency is hoping to build a concrete barrier wall along the State’s Right of Way, which will cost $500,000.

However, at this stage it’s only a proposal since VDOT is waiting to fund the project via the Highway Safety Improvement Program. If the funding is approved for the next fiscal year, which starts in July, the project could be get started within 12-18 months.

Stay with CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for continuing coverage of this story. 

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