MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — A couple who owns a home in Madison is concerned about safety at an intersection in front of their home. They tell News 19 there have been three separate crashes in the last year alone.
Tiffany Conicelli and her husband moved into their home on Hardiman Road in 2014. The couple says since they moved in, traffic has increased as more subdivisions have been built in the area.
Their concern is with the intersection of Hardiman Road and Burgreen Road. The two roads come together to form a “T”.
Since the Conicelli’s moved in in 2014, the city installed a concrete pad opposite the end of Burgreen Road, so a sewer lift pump station could be accessed. In an interview with News 19, Conicelli said “it does appear that the road continues on this concrete pad.” She continued, “Many, many times, people go into the yard or into the ditch.”
Conicelli went on to say that the area is extremely dark at night, and the stop sign isn’t visible enough for drivers.
In the early morning hours of February 19, 2022, a man drove his mustang through the Conicelli’s yard, hitting the side of the house and coming to rest through a fence.
“The police said [he was driving] about 60 to 70 miles per hour,” recalled Conicelli. “[He] didn’t even stop – hit the concrete pad, and crashed his car into our house.”
The crash caused extensive damage to the brick exterior of the house, as well as leaving the inside of the house covered in debris. Glass shards from the window that broke, embedded themselves in the wall above a bed in the room.
The room is a guest room, but the Conicelli’s said it is used frequently. They tell News 19, that someone was asleep in the bed in that room just two nights prior.
Police arrested 59-year-old John Arthur Robertson on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Robertson was released on the same day as his arrest.
News 19 interviewed the Conicelli’s in front of their home on Friday, March 4. During the interview, a red pickup truck pulled up with Robertson inside. The man driving the truck identified himself as John Robertson’s brother.
The driver said, “My brother hit the house.” News 19 kept the camera rolling during the unexpected encounter. Tiffany Conicelli identified the man in the passenger seat as John Robertson, saying she recognized him.
The driver of the car, John Robertson’s brother, said “He thought he was over on Segars.” He continued, “he thought he was on Segars when he was coming down this (Burgreen) road and wasn’t expecting a dead end.”
From the passenger seat, John Robertson issued an apology. Saying, “I’m sorry about your house, I didn’t realize.”
During the conversation, the driver of the truck also mentioned, that he was a relative of the driver of a separate recent crash. “My sister’s niece is the one who went in the ditch there,” he said.
The homeowners tell News 19 that crash happened on February 28. Debris from that crash was still visible in the ditch, and shards of the taillight were left on the concrete pad.
The Conicelli’s said in 2021, a female driver ended up in their yard, swerved to avoid a tree, and hit their light pole. Had the light pole not stopped the car, the Conicelli’s say they worried it would’ve continued and gone through the front of their neighbor’s house.
These three incidents coupled with an increase in traffic in the area, have the Conicelli’s worried about more accidents. They told News 19, that they’ve reached out to Madison City Council, the Mayor, and the Madison Public Works department. So far, they managed to get a few additional signs added, but they say it still isn’t enough.
Tiffany Conicelli said, “I would like the city to do something just to kind of help myself and the other citizens to not be injured or even killed because of this intersection being so dangerous.”
News 19 reached out to the Madison Public Works Department. DOT Supervisor, Mike Gallant, said over a phone interview that the city has “plans” for the area. However, Gallant wouldn’t elaborate further.
News 19 also reached out to Athens Utilities. They confirmed they will be installing a light pole to illuminate the area at night. A spokesperson says the light will be installed by the end of this week, “weather permitting.”
While the homeowners are excited about a new streetlight being installed, the recent crashes have them shaken up.
“It’s very difficult to sleep at night when you’ve had a traumatic incident like that,” Tiffany Conicelli said.