Grant residents concerned about road safety after multiple fatal crashes

Northeast Alabama

GRANT, Ala. – Two fatal car crashes about a month and a half apart in Marshall County has one resident concerned about the safety of the road.

Simpson Point Road starts at an intersection just before drivers enter the town of Grant.

“I call it the highway of death and misery because there’s been so many people killed, there’s been so many of my friends injured in horrific car wrecks,” said Grant resident Butch Atchley.

Atchley has lived at his home on Cherokee Ridge since 2005.

He told WHNT News 19 he is more comfortable driving on the interstate in Atlanta during rush hour than he is on Simpson Point Road, especially during fog and rain.

“We have all sorts of issues to deal with. Cars speeding, of course, livestock, deer and stuff like that and like everywhere else you’ll have people on the phone. There’s no really safe pull out on this road. A lot of blind drives, a lot of hills, and a lot of curves, and way too much speeding,” said Atchley.

On November 1, 2019, DAR High School senior Eli Spray, 17, died in a car crash on this road.

On Wednesday, Madison Martin, 26, met her fate there, as well.

Based on the investigator’s markings on the road, Martin was driving her truck westbound, before crossing over into the eastbound lane. Her truck stopped against a tree.

Martin was pronounced dead on the scene.

The homeowner across the street, who is a friend of Atchley’s, told WHNT News 19 Thursday that the crash was so loud, he thought it was some sort of explosion.

“He said he thought it was something going on at the arsenal. He looked over there and the truck was smashed and bent right in two,” said Atchley.

Atchley said he thinks the speed limit may need to be lowered from the posted 50 miles per hour.

However, Commissioner Ricky Watson said he believes the posted current speed limit is safe and reasonable if drivers obey it.

The two agree, though, that getting more law enforcement in the area to catch speeders and write tickets might help.

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