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Dangerous section of road concerns residents witnessing wrecks

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DENHAM SPRINGS - Residents living along a stretch of road in Livingston Parish say some drivers treat the strip as a speedway. Sims Road is a straight road between Highway 16 and Highway 1023 with a 35-mph speed limit.

Melanie Brekeen says she's scared to get her mail some days because the drivers are careless. She contacted 2 On Your Side with hopes to get something done to encourage people to slow down.

"It's like a NASCAR race," said Brekeen.

Six years ago, Brekeen moved into her single-family home along Sims Road in Denham Springs. As the area was further developed, she says more drivers disobeyed the speed limit. Her neighbor's surveillance cameras captured two wrecks in recent history. One of them shows how a driver lost control and flipped their car onto Brekeen's driveway.

In certain areas along Sims Road, there is no room for error. The ground slopes off into a ditch including in front of Brekeen's house.

"She came through our ditch and hit our culvert you can see, and flipped her car," she said. Luckily no one was hurt."

The Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the wreck around three o'clock on Wednesday, November 28. The accident report says the driver of that car fell asleep at the wheel when it veered off the roadway, hitting the ditch and then a culvert. The driver and their child in the back seat were uninjured in the accident.

Over the last few years, Brekeen can count at least eight single-vehicle wrecks that have happened right in front of her house. She says something needs to be done to prevent her fear from coming true.

"Them coming into my house or somebody getting killed," she said.

The number of wrecks she has witnessed is why she refuses to let her young grandchildren play in her spacious front yard. Brekeen says she has reached out to Livingston Parish and the sheriff's office for help but is still waiting to learn about a solution.

Since 2014, the sheriff's office has responded to eight wrecks in the area along Sims Road from Reinninger Road to Hess Road. Sheriff Jason Ard says his office has received complaints from residents in this area and others.

"I understand the concerns," he said. "I have them, too. One crash is too many for me. We appreciate when our residents get involved - working together makes us better. In this particular situation, based on complaints, we have placed radar trailers, we have issued citations & we have increased patrols. The fact is we are dealing with a fast-growing parish. We will continue to work with residents & use available resources when and where needed."

WBRZ contacted the council person for that area and learned that Sims Road is currently on the parish overlay list for evaluation and is also on the Metropolitan Planning Organization list. Councilman Garry Talbert says there are plans to eventually widen the road to 20-feet.


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