Jacksonville 'thrill rides' puts locals in danger
POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 7:18pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 28, 2014 - 5:36pm
(KETK) - Tyler, Tx — A Jacksonville man was killed in a car accident Thursday night. Police say 26-year-old Justin Berry was driving north on Lakeshore drive when he lost control and hit a tree. Berry was pronounced dead at the scene and his passenger was taken to a local hospital.
Witnesses who live along Lakeshore told KETK accidents just like this one are all too common for this area.
Lakeshore drive in Jacksonville is no stranger to the broken glass and broken hearts that land along its edges. The possibility always looming that as each car disappears down its eight foot ditch, the driver may not make it up the other side alive.
Gary Martin has lived on Lakeshore Drive in Jacksonville since 2005, during his time he has personally witnessed four crashes, seen numerous close calls and found two cars in his own driveway.
"These two accidents happened probably within a month of each other," Martin said. "The young lady came down the street and her car rolled and landed just over here on this side, the second one over turned and ended up on that driveway over there."
Martin says this is a popular activity among teens, they like to get speed and use the dip to send their car flying into the air. It's been referred to by residents as a 'right of passage' or a 'thrill ride,' but the consequence is always described the same.
"Absolutely completely upsetting," Martin said. "It's such a sad and avoidable tragedy I really would like to bring some extra awareness to this situation because if it can save one life it's meaningful."
So even though Berry was not the first to crash along Lakeshore, residents hope he will be the last.
If you would like to help donate to help the Berry family, please visit Austin Bank and donate under the name "Justin Berry."