Historic home battered by series of accidents

Posted at 11:43 PM, Jul 17, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-18 09:11:06-04

[ooyala code=”R3anFlNTqXcKp5wY8PC_Lv0o3yIoCssu”]Henrico, Va. (WTVR)–Wayne and Stacy Tyler’s house has been pushed back off its foundation about a foot and a half and columns on the front and side porch have been ripped clean off.  In addition, their fence line will now have to be replaced for a third time.

The slight curve on Nine Mile Road just west of North Bridge Road has been causing continuous renovation headaches for the Tylers.

“Every time we are almost done, something happens with the house or property,” said Stacy Tyler.

The latest incident was Sunday morning.   That’s when police say Phillip Tribbey was driving under the influence of drugs and swerved off the road, barreling into the Tylers’ historic Eastern Henrico house.  “I was in my living room,” said Tyler, “when I opened my blinds and a vehicle comes off Nine Mile Road towards our house.  I felt the house shake.”

The impact was so strong she thought the man was dead.

Virginia’s Department of Transportation says it has traffic engineers looking at this stretch of Nine Mile Road and that likely the only thing they can do is put up more signs.  But these homeowners say what use is a sign, when all it does is end up in their front yard?  “If they did any good, said Stacy Tyler, “it wouldn’t be in my front yard.”

In addition to an uprooted sign, fence and porch debris litter the Tylers’ front and side yard. Her house now stands condemned, with costly and uncertain repairs looming.

VDOT tells CBS 6 that this stretch of road has seen 13 crashes in the past five years.  Six of them, Tyler says, have ended in her yard.  “It’s frustrating, there’s not much we can do,” she said.

Not pleased with the answers from both VDOT and the county, the Tylers are wondering if it’s time to stop feeding what they call a money pit.  “We are almost there,” she said.  “But who wants to buy a house where a traffic curve has caused 13 accidents?”

VDOT says rumble strips, traffic signs with flashing lights and guard rails are not an option because Nine Mile runs through a residential area. Speed limit enforcement is what they say deters drivers best and Stacy Tyler says for now, she’d settle for that.