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'Three Killed on Barricaded Freeway'

September 22, 1985

Re your report "Three Killed in Accidents on Barricaded 55 Freeway" (Sept. 10):

Upon reading of these tragedies, and that "the drivers apparently avoided rubber cones set across on-ramps to prevent vehicles from entering," I had to remember a recent evening when I, too, found myself on that same section of freeway.

I was in total darkness, alone, and with a construction truck's headlights coming straight toward me!

But the relevant thing is that I had not avoided any cones or barricades to arrive in what I later called "The Twilight Zone" to my waiting family! And it was only 9:50 p.m.--10 minutes before the construction closure!

I saw no detour signs or cones:

Since it was so easy to get into this "Twilight Zone," I wonder how many other readers had similar experiences? I suspect that I'm not the only one who feels chilled by the realization of the possible consequences of improper barricading.

I have the greatest sympathy for the victims' families. These accidents (and even my error) should not have been possible, given proper barricades. I strongly urge the CHP (California Highway Patrol) and Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) to investigate and upgrade their construction barricade methods.


Huntington Beach

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