Car Slams into Pond, Highlights Road Concerns in Free Union

By: Chris Stover Email
By: Chris Stover Email

April 15, 2014

A car plunged into a pond Tuesday morning along Albemarle County backroads, and residents in that area say the accident highlights a larger issue.

"It's just a bad spot," Free Union resident Eddie Shiflett said. "Two cars cannot pass."

The accident happened on Free Union Road just south of Davis Shop Road in Albemarle County. It's near the entrance of Glass House Winery.

"This has been an issue for as long as I can remember," Shiflett said.

A driver heading south on Free Union Road noticed a car coming in the opposite direction. Because of the location of the narrow bridge, she said the only thing she could do to avoid a head-on collision was serve out of the way.

"It's a blind spot, and you can't see if another car is coming until you're right on them, so I don't know what needs to be done," Shiflett said. "I think the cement abutments need to be knocked out."

The driver was shaken up but was uninjured and able to leave the car.

A Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman says the organization has received two requests on Tuesday for improvements to the bridge. He also noted crash data between 2007 and 2012 does not show any incidents at that location.

Building a wider bridge would need to be added to Albemarle County's secondary six-year plan, which is approved by the board of supervisors. The plan is updated yearly and includes a public hearing. The spokesman says that process is underway.

"It definitely needs to be corrected before someone gets killed," Shiflett said.

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