Prank Brings Back Painful Memories in Logan County

By: Courtney Lassiter
By: Courtney Lassiter

The warning lights on a dangerous Logan County road are gone.

Neighbors on Davenport Hill off Kentucky 79 say they heard two gun shots last week then noticed the solar powered lights on a sign were missing.

It's not only raising the eye-brows of investigators, the incident tugs on emotions from county residents that stem from a long line of deadly accidents on the road.

"A lot of 'em don't know the road; it's a "double S curve."

The lights warn you, the signs are all there, but the sharp curves make it impossible to see oncoming traffic and when you do, it could be too late.

"There's been a lot of 'em; there's been six to eight killed on that hill down there."

Ray Orange says in 46 years of living at the top of Davenport Hill, he can't link any one factor to all the accidents.

"I don't know, they've got all the precautions up but it don't seem to help. They put the guard rails up."

Anyone in the county will tell you it's a trouble spot.

Ray Orange says the prankster who stole the warning lights off the sign is doing a lot more damage than defacing property.

Melinda Costellow's memorial represents just one of many deaths on this road.

"Not a moment has gone by since October 22, 2004 that we haven't thought about Melinda."

17-year-old Melinda will never drive this road again and neither will her family.
They say driving on Davenport hill is now agonizing.

"It's not a pain that stops it's not a pain you get over."

To Kenny, Melinda's father, the most painful part is when a thoughtless prank causes a family to re-live their worst nightmare.

"It's easy to forget how quickly it could happen again; it shouldn't. It shouldn't happen again."

The Department of Transportation says at least three other attempts have been made to steal the sign.

Another sign will be set up to electrically power the flashing lights, costing about $2,000.

Additional costs will go toward a monthly operation fee.

The solar powered lights cost about $1,300 at no monthly fee.


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