GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. – Jackie Lipford was her mother’s beauty
“Beautiful on the outside, but she was so beautiful on the inside,” said her mother Monica Lipford.
Monica said her daughter taught her so much about life, forgiveness, and love.
But memories are all Monica has now.
“It’s horrible,” she said. “It’s living the unimaginable.”
Jackie’s life was tragically cut short on June 4, 2016. She and her boyfriend were headed to a family party that morning in Goochland County.
While driving west on Broad Street, her boyfriend made a left onto Fairground Rd. and turned in front of a truck.
“The vehicle struck right where Jackie was,” said Monica.
Jackie was pronounced dead on the scene.
“I have to tell you that I screamed so hard, begging him to tell me it was a lie,” said Monica.
While Jackie’s boyfriend was found to be at fault, Monica believes there’s another problem in the area.
“The traffic here is traveling far too fast,” she told CBS 6 reporter Chelsea Rarrick,
Monica soon learned that others in Goochland had been raising concerns about the intersection for years.
“An intersection that has so many crashes, now a fatality, it needs to be slowed down,” said Monica.
Tamra Adams, who lives nearby, operates a Montessori school. Just months before Jackie’s death, Adams had written VDOT about excessive speeding on that part of Broad Street, fearing someone would soon lose their life.
“There have been more accidents than I can count, several times we’ve had accidents within 12 hours of each other,” said Adams.
According to Goochland County Officials, from 2012 to May of 2017, there have been 21 reported accidents at the Broad Street and Fairground Road intersection.
Adams said her broken fence is a reminder of each of them.
“There’s no reason to replace it,” she said. “It just keeps getting hit again and again... by cars.”
“This is really close to being our second worst intersection in the county,” said Goochland County Supervisor Manuel Alvarez.
Alvarez said the area deserves some attention.
“I don’t think it would be an issue for VDOT to reduce the 55 mph speed limit just for this stretch of road, it’s a mile,” said Alvarez.
So far, two traffic safety studies have been conducted, but both found that the speed limit is not the issue.
“About half of the crashes we’re seeing, weather has been a component in those crashes so we’re looking at trying to call more attention to the intersection, get some more motorists awareness,” said VDOT District Traffic Engineer, Robert Vilak.
Vilak said they have put out new signs and repaved the road in that area.
“There’s actually more than adequate site distance in all three directions for drivers to make all necessary movements,” said Vilak.
Still, for Monica and others who live in the area, the fight to lower the speed limit from 55 to 45 mph isn’t going to stop.
“It’s not right,” said Monica Lipford. “There’s nothing about it that’s right, and for people not wanting to change it, it doesn’t make sense.”
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