Fifty-two Monticello residents are calling on the State Highway and Transportation Department to “take out” Dead Man’s Curve, a sharp, double-curve and incline on U.S. 278 about two miles east of Monticello where there have been many accidents over the years, some fatal.
The recent death of a young Alabama woman at the dangerous curve has prompted a letter to State Highway Commissioner Robert Moore and State Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett asking that the department “immediately take all necessary actions to take out ‘Dead Man’s Curve'” in U.S. 278 east of Monticello.
The letter, written under the First United Methodist Church letterhead, was signed by 52 Monticello residents and was the result of an August 3 discussion in church’s Adult Sunday School Class whose members were touched by the August 1 automobile accident that took the life of 21-year-old Carly Nicole Avery, of Hamilton, Alabama.
Avery was traveling east on U.S. 278 at 6:20 a.m. on August 1 when she lost control of her car as she attempted to negotiate the curve on the wet highway. Her vehicle went into the westbound lane where it was struck by a 2014 Freightliner.
Avery was a civil engineering student at Mississippi State University working a summer internship at the Clearwater paper mill near Arkansas City. She was temporarily residing in Monticello.
“Our purpose in writing you is to respectfully request the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to immediately take all necessary actions to take out ‘Dead Man’s Curve’ in Hwy. 278 just east of Monticello,” the letter reads. “The unreasonably sharp double curve/incline configuration of this part of our local highway system has played a significant role in causing many auto accidents over the years, including a number of fatal accidents. We have little doubt that it played a major role in causing the death of Carly. It is our hope and prayer that you will take immediate action to remove this trap for unwary travelers in our community.”
The letter also requests the department name the highway construction project the “Carly Nicole Avery Highway Safety Project”.