Road’s dangerous curve leads to deaths, and frustration for residents

Posted at 11:36 PM, Aug 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-14 23:36:56-04

HENRICO, Va. (WTVR)--The dialogue about doing something with Springfield Road’s sharp S-curve really ramped up after the death of Danielle Bellio in 2009, and then her grandmother a week later as she visited the site. 

Now one man wants to renew interest in the area after a hit-and-run driver took down his front fence and more.

Joe Coleman grabbed his mail directly from the carrier along Springfield Road Tuesday afternoon, afraid the mailman would simply pass by, without even noticing his mailbox lying on the ground.

“I'm standing on the remnants of a hit-and-run accident," Coleman said.

Sometime between midnight and 5 a.m., a hit-and-run driver did some damage to Coleman’s front fence, driveway and yard.

“He hit the fence, then the tree, backed up, tried getting out of the fence, then ran through my yard and left out the hole he created," he said.

The deep skid marks unearthed many frustrations for Coleman; he says something has to be done with this road and he hopes soon.

“I think they should dead-end the road and Echo Lake Park in both directions and make drivers use an alternate route,” Coleman said. “It's a simple low-cost idea."

V-DOT maintains Springfield Road and said that in the fall consultants will release findings of a road study.

There will be a public meeting in December before a decision is made on what to do with the part of the road that runs past Coleman’s home.  A proposal on the table already would straighten the road to the tune of some $22 million dollars, but it's still preliminary.

This area has seen its share of fatal accidents over the past few years. Cathy Bellio had said it was like a stab in her heart to lose both her daughter and mother within days of each other on this stretch of road. Ruth Bellio, 74, was struck leaving a bouquet of flowers where her granddaughter had been killed.

Police have said that the road is not necessarily a “deadly roadway,” but one that can be dangerous if driver are not paying attention.

The tragedies certainly continue to resurface, every time reckless drivers leave their marks.

No arrests have been made in this case, but police tell me a parent has come forward on behalf of their teenager, so charges could be filed in the near future.