Community, Public Safety & Health

Recent accident stirs heeded warning: Drive safe on treacherous Territorial

Around 7 p.m. last night our dogs began barking and whining to get outside. They’ll do the same when they know it’s time to race the school bus or garbage truck up the hill (inside our fenceline), but not usually that late in the day. I walked out on our porch and looked below on Territorial Road where emergency lights were flashing and a long line of cars were creeping their way south in front of our house. I could see cars lined up behind the emergency vehicle stopping traffic north of us and figured that they would be sitting there for a while.
With a quick check of the Lorane Facebook page, I learned that a head-on collision had taken place near Jackson-Marlow Road, just south of us. Within minutes, our granddaughter, Linsey, called to check to make sure that her grandpa and I were OK. Before she hung up, our daughter, Gloria’s call was lighting up the phone. Our family, when they hear sirens in the area, always checks to make sure that all within our fold are at home or at least safe.
This type of thing happens too often these days. Territorial Road between Gillespie Corners and Lorane is especially treacherous with sharp curves, fog lines on the edge of steep drop-offs, no guard rails, uneven pavement, and lots of log trucks and bicycle riders to be watchful for. The restructuring of Territorial by Lane County can’t come soon enough for us. The first phase is scheduled to begin on Stony Point in 2020, but in the meantime, we all fear for our lives when driving that stretch, especially.
These conditions are bad enough, but the frequent reports of drivers taking curves on or over the center line are the biggest problem for all of us. This is a scenario that other areas besides Lorane are experiencing, as well, but right now, we are even more vulnerable because of the road conditions.
Speed and texting while driving have been problems for several years, but this almost daily fear of rounding a curve and meeting a car, or sometimes a log truck, on the center line is causing a lot of concern and, as it was last night – accidents. Fortunately, I understand that there were no major injuries in last night’s wreck, but the flagman was still down below our house last night until well after 9:00 p.m. as the wreck was being cleaned up. Some people even reported they were stopped at Gillespie Corners while going southbound and had to turn around to go back through Creswell to get home to Lorane.
All of us need to be especially cautious about not riding the center line – any time, anywhere – but especially right now, in our area.
When learning to drive, I was always taught to keep my eyes to the right – on the fog line of the road – when passing oncoming traffic or rounding a blind curve. Many, I believe, are keeping their eyes to the left, watching the center line. We tend to steer the car we are driving in the direction of where we are looking, so those who are focusing on the center line will hug that line, or even go a bit over it. Those of us who focus on the fog line will tend to stay closer to it. I’ve tested out this theory several times and that’s what happens for me.
We drivers need to take extra measures to ensure that we do not drift over or on that center line at any time, because if we don’t, we’re very liable to meet another driver who is doing the same thing, and head-on collisions are the result. Many will not be as lucky as last night’s drivers were.
We must all be more conscious of our driving practices and correct anything that needs improvement. Our lives and those of others literally depend on it.
— — — — —
Be sure to check out my personal website!



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos