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Harford Co. family fighting for guardrail after home hit by car twice in 9 months

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jan 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 18:36:23-05

DARLINGTON, Md — "Does somebody have to die when we as consumers know what needs to be done?" said Darlington homeowner Debi Greer.

Greer is fed up. Frustrated she no longer feels safe in the front part of her home off Route 1. It has been hit by cars twice in the last 9 months.

The first was back in April. A car hit the front of their home at 9 p.m. Greer was sitting on the other side of the wall.

"It hit so hard that everything buckled into this wall," Greer said.

And then, last Friday at 7:30 a.m., another car ran into the side of their family room.

"I was upstairs, giving my husband a kiss goodbye. He was leaving for work. I was getting ready to start my day and it hit and we had to grab a hold of the doorway," said Greer. "It shook the whole house."

Greer said even before walking down the stairs, she knew it was another car. Fortunately, no one was hurt in either crash. But both times, Greer was fighting cancer.

"It seems like since I've been diagnosed, it's like someone is trying to beat my house up and make me move. I don't want to go anywhere. I love this house," said Greer.

So she's fighting for her life and fighting to protect her home. Two years ago, they tried to prevent it all from even happening, asking the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration to install guardrails after their neighbor was hit in his own front yard.

"We could have lost him all together and that's when it really woke me up," said Greer.

"She hit me head on, threw me 62 feet in the air over my other truck," said Kris Beckwith, who was taken to Shock Trauma with life-threatening injuries.

MDOT SHA later conducted a review of the area and installed additional turn signs with advisory speed limits (45 mph) at this location, as well as dual traffic chevrons.

Before these crashes, neighbors noticed the issue but it was never a matter of safety. The Greers had accepted that they may have to replace their mailbox twice a year, but replacing a wall twice in one year is too much. Greer fears for her safety and the safety of her family and the drivers. A petition now has over 7,000 signatures, calling for a protective barrier.

"To at least slow them down, to help people around the neighborhood. At least people wouldn't get hit," said Beckwith. "I'm too scared to bring my own kids out here anymore. I don't trust Route 1."

MDOT SHA said in a statement, "Engineers continue to evaluate the potential for guardrail and other possible engineering solutions at this location. MDOT SHA is very empathetic to the community’s concerns and remains focused on the mutual goal of enhancing safety."

A representative will be at a community board meet at 6:30 Monday at Whiteford Library and the Greers plan on speaking out about this issue.