A Teen Died and More Continue to Risk Their Lives

July 6, 2005--Posted at 10:35 PM CST

JONESBORO--It was one of the most horrific accidents K8 news has ever covered; Seven local teens joy riding lost control of their vehicle, all getting ejected, and one lost her life.

Just seven months later, the temptation of hill hopping at a local intersection is still here and residents are now taking action.

"We're not only concerned about the safety of the kids that are doing it, but for the safety of the people that are out there," said Kimberly Davidson.

Her words are an echo of her entire neighborhood of RidgePoint. They are extremely concerned that an accident like the one that killed 15-year old Cadie McNamara in December could happen again.

The scenario is simple, drive your car as fast as you can at the approaching hill and see how much air you can get. It is called "hill-hopping" and it is a growing problem in Region 8.

George Stemm is a contractor that is spearheading a movement to have a permanent concrete barrier placed in the intersection. As a temporary move, he placed plastic barriers in the roadway to shy hill hoppers away. But it hasn't stopped them from doing it.

Davidson said, "Many mornings the barrels would have been moved and because they don't have anything heavy in them, sometimes they will go on top of the barrels."

And George Stemm is not only concerned about the safety of the kids, but his family as well.

Stemm said, "I have got family at that intersection. I am building my own home at that intersection, and so I have a real interest in the safety issue."

That is why Stemm approached the Jonesboro Public Works Committee Tuesday night with plans for a  permanent concrete centerpiece that would force drivers around the intersection. Davidson knows that a permanent structure will insure the safety of everyone on her street, including the teenagers that risk their lives.

Davidson said, "They know that they cannot go through it (referring to the concrete barrier) because it cannot be moved. I think not only for the safety of people that are coming through just looking and going to their homes, but also for them (drivers)."

Both the City of Jonesboro and the RidgePoint Homeowners Associations have to approve the plans.

Stem is not asking the city to fund the project as his interest in the safety of his grandchildren out weighs the cost of the barrier.

The city will give it's decision during next months city council meeting.