Resident on Old State Road 37 Addresses Commissioners about Fatal Accidents

(BEDFORD) – Joe Bishop addressed the commissioners Tuesday morning with concerns about accidents that happen in front of his home at 2485 Old State Road 37 North.

Bishop has lived in the home for more than 12 years. In those years he has seen many accidents occur in front of his home, including fatalities.

The last fatality took place on the afternoon of Thursday, Aug. 8. Dylan Ross was killed when his vehicle left the roadway, he over-corrected and ended up in the path of a pickup truck.

Ross was traveling south on Old State Road 37 when his 2002 Honda Civic left the road and traveled 200 feet in Bishop’s front yard. The car then went back on the road crossing all three lanes of traffic. The vehicle then spun counter-clockwise. The car entered the outside lane of northbound State Road 37 where Ross again over-corrected to the right placing the driver’s side of the vehicle in front of a Chevrolet pickup. Ross died at the scene.

Another fatal accident happened in the same location in October 2018. Bradley Stewart lost his life after his 1999 Chrysler Sebring veered off the roadway and hit the ditch in front of Bishop’s house and went airborne. Stewart died at the scene.

Bishop requested that the commissioners and Lawrence County Highway Department look at striping the roadway.

If you stand in front of Bishop’s house and look toward the north, you can see the striping on the roadway.

“But if you turn to around (facing south) you lose sight of what is going on,” he added. Something needs to be done. I am not a county road expert but at a glance, I believe you can see the problem. There is no striping around the bend on an already confusing three-lanes of the highway at the transfer station.”

Bishop provided photos of looking at the roadway from both directions.

Standing near Bishop’s house looking north.
Bishop then turned around and took a photo looking south. The striping can not be seen.

The speed limit in the area is 45 miles per hour. Bishop says very few motorists travel at that speed.

Bishop asked the commissioners if it would be possible to add striping or reflectors in addition to arrow signs to warn of the bend. He also suggested rumble strips.

Commissioner President Dustin Gabhart told Bishop that the commissioners are aware of the problem in that stretch of Old State Road 37 and are taking action to address the issue.

Lawrence County Highway Superintendent David Holmes says he has applied for a Community Crossing Grant and if approved he plans on paving and striping the road next spring.

“With the State of Indiana’s generosity the road will be paved, marked and painted,” says Commissioner Rodney Fish.

Sheriff Mike Branham spoke to Bishop after he addressed the commissioners with his concerns.

“We will have deputies make extra patrols in the area to help with the speeding issues,” he told the commissioners.