Mother starts campaign for action at A357 crash bend
THE mother of a young woman seriously injured in a crash near Stalbridge is seeking other accident victims in her campaign to make the road safer.
Sarah Campos is gathering information about accidents at a bend on the A357 about two miles south of Stalbridge.
Her daughter Alex, 20, was airlifted to hospital with a broken pelvis when her vehicle left the road and hit a telegraph pole.
Alex underwent five hours of surgery at Frenchay Hospital after the accident last month.
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Mrs Campos claims there are problems at the bend, near Spire Hill Farm, and is gathering evidence to present to Dorset County Council highways authority and the police.
The family lived near the site until moving to the Blandford area earlier this month.
She said: "I want to get something done before another accident happens.
"I want people who have had any kind of accident there to contact me in the next two or three weeks so that I can put together a dossier.
"Many people might not have reported it to the police.
"But it would give the full picture of what happens there."
She claims problems include the camber of the road. And she fears that if drivers lose control they are at risk of running across the verge into a drop and then hitting trees or a telegraph pole.
She said: "There's a lot that could be done there to make it safer.
"The telegraph pole is always getting hit and replaced - it would help if that was moved.
"When the emergency services were there for my daughter's accident they all said they were always being called to that bend.
"My daughter was not speeding but lost control. The road should be safe in the first place for everyone."
Mrs Campos said when she lived near the bend she often saw emergency vehicles at the scene.
Jerry Gibson said he and his wife Jane had seen dozens of accidents since moving to their home and business Dorset Cottage Arks nine years ago.
He said: "I can't tell you how often we've heard the bang and know there's another accident.
"I'm sure the problem is speed. There should be a 40mph limit along there.
"I've seen cars coming along too fast and then roll over because they can't take the bend.
"I tried to get something done before but nothing came of it.
"There have been some really lucky escapes there but many are serious and the air ambulance has been involved."
Mr Gibson said he has frequently been first on the scene and now has fire extinguishers to hand, fearing a crashed vehicle could catch fire.
He said: "I've found people upside down and trapped by their seatbelts.
"The most distressing thing about it is knowing that another accident will happen."
Mr Gibson said telephone wires were being pulled out of his house and damaging barge boards so often when vehicles hit the pole that the phone company had to rearrange the connection.
Mike Potter, senior technician with Dorset Highways, said statistics for the stretch of road showed only two personal injuries accidents in the five years until July.
He said bend warning chevron signs and a slow down road marking had been introduced to slow down traffic.
He said: "We will certainly look at this dossier with interest.
"We have to consider other sites as well and prioritise where there is data based on injury collisions.
"Almost all collisions occur with an element of driver or rider error and it's important that road users heed any warnings provided and drive according to the prevailing conditions."
Anyone involved in collisions at the bend should contact Mrs Campos by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with details. They will not be identified in her final report.