Not again! Car strays from S.R. 120, plows into mower outside Elkhart home at problematic curve

Many wrecks have occurred outside the home, including one in June that damaged the house’s entryway.

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 6:26 p.m.

ELKHART — New traffic signs were recently posted to keep autos from straying from S.R. 120 at a curvy section west of C.R. 17.

But they weren’t enough to prevent yet another crash at Jerry Lang’s home, located right at one of the curves.

Last month, an auto plowed into the house, one of many wrecks there over the years, and in the latest mishap, an errant vehicle crashed into a rider mower Lang had placed in his yard, off the roadway, also known as Jackson Boulevard. It’s got Lang pushing, again, for stronger safety measures — a guardrail between his home and the busy roadway, just 25 feet or so away.

"A guardrail would keep them on the road. The sign’s not working,“ he said Friday, July 18. The yellow signs, placed by the Indiana Department of Transportation shortly after the June 11 crash, feature heavy black arrows directing autos along the meandering roadway section.

In the latest mishap, around 3 a.m. Thursday, a westbound auto went off the right-hand side of the roadway, clipping the Lang family’s mailbox, Lang said. The car then hit the mower and a tool cart, which Lang had placed outside to draw potential buyers, and continued into an adjacent section of brush parallel to Jackson Boulevard.

The auto left a trail of perhaps 30 feet of flattened vegetation and the driver was ticketed for speeding, Lang said. The speed limit in the area is 40 mph.

On the bright side, a pair of workers were at Lang’s home Friday, repairing the damage caused to the front of the structure in the accident last month. In that wreck, the most dramatic of many since the Lang’s moved to the rental home in 2008, a car hit a parked vehicle in front of the home, pushing it through the front door, damaging their living room.

Follow reporter Tim Vandenack on Twitter at @timvandenack or visit him on Facebook.


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