Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Petition to close treacherous road gains momentum after Marines die in crash

Jan. 17, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
A sign on Catfish Lake Road near Havelock, N.C., reminds Marines they are prohibited from using it as a cut-through. Two Marines were killed along the road Jan. 7.
A sign on Catfish Lake Road near Havelock, N.C., reminds Marines they are prohibited from using it as a cut-through. Two Marines were killed along the road Jan. 7. (Cpl. Alicia R. Giron/Marine Corps)
  • Filed Under

In the wake of a tragic car crash that left two Marines dead, more than 2,000 people have signed a petition to close a North Carolina road so dangerous that area bases have made it off-limits for years.

In the wake of a tragic car crash that left two Marines dead, more than 2,000 people have signed a petition to close a North Carolina road so dangerous that area bases have made it off-limits for years.

  • Please enable JavaScript for your browser in order to use armytimes.com.com.
Want to read more?
Current Subscribers
Access to Army Times Prime is free for current Army Times subscribers.
Log in
Haven't registered online?
Activate Account
New Subscribers
Start your subscription to Army Times Prime for as little as 59¢ a week!
Subscribe

In the wake of a tragic car crash that left two Marines dead, more than 2,000 people have signed a petition to close a North Carolina road so dangerous that area bases have made it off-limits for years.

Lance Cpl. Nicholas Buscarnera and Pfc. Skyler Way, both 19, were discovered dead in a car Jan. 7 along Catfish Lake Road in the Croatan National Forest, having drowned after the vehicle skidded off the road, overturned, and sank in a canal. The tragedy is the latest in a series of deadly crashes along the unpaved road. Local news outlets reported that 280 crashes, including 10 fatalities, have happened along the road since 2001. These figures include the 2010 deaths of two Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., as well as a civilian family of five in 2011.

Richard O’Connell, a close friend of Buscanera’s and the brother of a Camp Lejeune Marine, said starting an online petition on Change.org to close the road was a small way he could honor his friend.

“It has to stop,” he said. “I don’t want to see my brother dying on the side of the road because it’s too dangerous and they won’t close it. He’s already been to Afghanistan twice. I don’t want him dying on the side of the road.”

The petition, which was promoted on Facebook and shared by some friends and family members of the Marines who were killed, topped 1,000 signatures within 48 hours. Most of the signers identify themselves as family members of Camp Lejeune Marines, and some say they had friends and family killed in other crashes on the road.

Meanwhile, some local officials say the driving, not the road, was the problem. Steve Hamilton, a traffic engineer with the state’s Department of Transportation, told local ABC affiliate WCTI that there are no current proposed changes to the road and that excessive speed is to blame for the accidents.

“Trying to drive 55, 65, 75 miles on that road is like trying to drive that same speed on a sheet of ice,” Hamilton told the station.

Officials said speeding was a factor in the crash that killed Buscanera and Way.

Since 2010, Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point officials have prohibited Marines from driving on the road — which can serve as a shortcut between the bases — for any travel apart from recreational activities.

O’Connell said that alone wasn’t going to stop Marines from taking it.

“I was in the Navy as well, and we do stupid things,” he said.

Signers of his petition echoed the sentiment.

“My son is a Marine about to be at this base,” one woman wrote. “Knowing my son, they are invincible and speed limits do not mean anything. Please close the road.”

Buscarnera’s funeral is set for Saturday. Way’s will be held Jan. 20.

O’Connell said he’ll keep working on his cause in memory of his friend.

“I’ll do whatever’s necessary to get this closed and stop people from dying,” he said. “No life, civilian or military, is worth it.”

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook