Drivers beware on Hwy 281

Pictured above is the latest hydroplaning accident that occured only  a few weeks ago on Hwy 281 just shy of the Jack County Line

Charles and Connie Winkles are residents just past the Archer County line into Jack County, and they are very concerned about a spot

which has caused several accidents in Archer County on Hwy 281. Just before reaching the Jack County line sign, there is a spot in the curve of the three lane highway where water wants to accumulate on the outside lane on the south side of the road and runs out of the pool that forms there, across the north side of the road.

Four accidents that the Winkles know of have occurred by hydroplaning in this very spot each time, sliding cross the highway and through a fence.

Charles said “It a tragedy waiting to happen. The pools are so innocuous, you would not even think this could cause a problem, but since they widened the road for passing lanes, this spot is dangerous.”

Standing beside the road with the Winkles, traffic was very busy on the highway. Had either one of the last four vehicles hydroplaned across the road into oncoming traffic, it would most likely have been a tragic situation.

“I am not an engineer,” Winkles said, “but I would imagine it would not take a whole lot to get the water to run a different direction. Before the passing lanes were constructed, we never had a hydroplaning accident in the 8 years we have lived here, but since then, this spot has been a problem.”

Charles did contact TxDOT about this problem, but nothing has been done so far.

“I am just concerned that someone is going to get seriously injured or killed right there.”

Charles said it doesn’t take much of a rain at all for the water to run across. He said that he and Connie are aware of the spot and both take it at slow speeds when they drive; however it still pulls their cars.

It is hard to know exactly where the spot is if one is not familiar with it. Drive slowly about a mile past the roadside park on the south side if it is raining and several miles into Jack County where there are more problems. After you clear that valley all is well. Maybe TxDOT will find a solution soon.

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