LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WATE) — A Lenoir City man wonders how many times his house will have to be hit by a vehicle before guardrails are installed.
Over the last two and a half years, three vehicles have slammed into his mobile home, the most recent collision was last week.
Jack Huffaker says he’s scared. Will the next truck or car that hits his home injure him, or someone else? So far, with three vehicles hitting his home, he’s been lucky no one has been hurt, but, there sure has been a lot of damage to not one, but two of his homes.
Huffaker’s new mobile home is heavily damaged. His metal carport was destroyed, the back porch to the new home knocked off and the steps to the porch splintered when a speeding car skidded on Hines Valley Road hitting the front edge of Jack’s new single-wide last week.
“This is subflooring poking through wood. I don’t know how much damage there is here. I know this panel will have to be replaced,” Huffaker said.
The total cost of repairing inside and outside damaged has yet to be determined.
“I want protection. I’m worried about getting killed. Like last night, at 1:30, I woke up and could not go back to sleep. I had it on my mind,” Huffaker said.
Last December, an out-of-control pick-up hit his first mobile home and totaled it. He lived in a motel until just two months ago when he moved into his new single wide.
“There is a slight curve here. For some reason, they lose control in this curve. When it rains, I know it is extremely slick,” Huffaker said.
The speed limit on Hines Valley Road is 45 miles per hour. Huffaker has contacted the Loudon County Highway Department and requested guardrails be installed to prevent vehicles from leaving the roadway and crashing into his house.
“When I asked the gentleman who is in charge now if he could put a guardrail? He didn’t hesitate, it was real quick: we’re not going to put up no guardrails, it’s too expensive,” Huffaker said.
When contacted, Loudon County Road Superintendent Eddie Simpson told 6 On Your Side, a recent safety audit of Hines Valley Road shows no dangerous issues and he said there’s money in the budget for guardrails to protect Mr. Huffaker’s house.
“I’ve even asked if I could take myself and lay boulder around here to stop cars from coming through, The owners of the park said they’d be liable or I’d be liable if somebody hit it,” Huffaker said.
For now, Huffaker is waiting on the damage estimate of getting his house repaired, and he’s keeping his finger crossed no one else slams into it.
“I’m getting scared, I really am. Everyone says, why don’t you move? They don’t realize the expense that’s involved,” Huffaker said.
He says he shouldn’t have to move, instead, he believes something should be done about slowing down the traffic on Hines Valley Road. The County Highway Superintendent says putting up signs alerting drivers about the curve is an alternative, as well as asking the sheriff for more patrols to monitor the roadway.