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Drive safe


On June 30th of this year, I had a life altering experience in Seymour.

I was heading down the yellow brick road, Oooops, different story.

I was heading back to Nixa via Hazelwood Road. Hazelwood joins Gentry Rd near the end of Highway O which takes you to Diggins and Highway 60. At the junction of Hazelwood and Gentry is a 90 degree turn on Hazelwood which carries you over the James River. I never made it to Gentry, as I wound up in the James River instead.

It was nearly midnight, and I was trying to get to a farm off of O and Pleasant Hill. I have often traveled that route heading back to Nixa, however, not in darkness.

I knew that "Dead Man's Curve" was coming up, however I arrived before I could recognize it in the darkness, as there are no reflective indicators alerting to the 90-degree curve and the weeds were, as they say, as high as an elephant's eye.

I reacted as best I could to navigate the curve but over the west side of the bridge I went. I, and the truck dropped around nine feet to the concrete on the west side of the bridge, into the river channel and slid west towards the old low water bridge coming to rest about fifteen feet from the bridge on the right side of the truck.

Everything in the cab had dropped against the passenger door and I was scrunched up in a ball on top of it a little dazed and confused.

Normal for me, should one enquire of those wags in my immediate family. My phone was somewhere under me, so, I was getting my mind around having to be in that situation until daylight as the Hazelwood/Gentry intersection is rather remotely located.

I soon heard voices telling me that help was on the way. In practically no time the Seymour Fire Department, Southern Webster County Fire Protection District and Yates Boys Towing were on the scene. They had to cut me out of the truck like a sardine out of a can.

Poor Lil' Red, I hardly knew ye. She is now at Yates Boys yard in a less than dignified condition.

As they pulled me out of the truck on a backboard, there stood Cy with Yates Boys.

"Hi Cy, how ya doin'? sez I.

When they got me up to the roadway and put me on the gurney, who but Levi from Yates Boys walked by. We exchanged pleasantries.

I would first like to thank the anonymous person(s) who stopped and called for help, thereby sparing me having to spend a potentially very tough night in the river.

I would also like to thank Seymour Fire Department, Southern Webster County Fire Protection District and Yates Boys Towing for their most excellent extrication and recovery efforts.

While Lil' Red was lost, I will fondly remember her as having shielded me from greater harm with her cab. While I am not anthropomorphic, I do get a chill whenever I hear Bambi's mother say, "Man is in the forest."

But I digress.

Not to grumble, having been spared, and living to see another day, it would be nice if Webster County Commission who owns several $500,000 John Deere road graders would see fit to spend a few shekels cutting down the weeds and putting up a few reflective warning signs indicating that if not careful, your Jag might slide into the curve.

Jeepers, maybe even a guardrail, as the concrete bridge supports would withstand mounting a guardrail that could repel a German Tiger tank.

Drive safe.


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