The Transylvania Times -

Mountain Roads and Waterfalls


June 22, 2017

On Sunday night, two Transylvania County teenagers were killed in a single-vehicle accident in Balsam Grove. The impact of this tragic accident will be felt for years by the three survivors riding in the truck and the families and friends of all those involved in the accident.

According to reports from the state Highway Patrol, the driver was speeding when he entered a curve, lost control and then overcompensated, thus causing the truck to overturn. Three passengers were riding in the truck bed while another was riding in the passenger seat without a seat belt. This is not the first, nor will it be the last, time such an accident occurs.

Our mountain roads, with their numerous sharp turns and poor lines of sight, can be quite treacherous. The fact that it rains so much in this county, thus reducing traction, increases the possibility of accidents. A driver’s inexperience also increases the possibility of an accident. Those who have ridden, but not driven, these roads many times can be lulled into a sense of familiarity that they know the roads and their dangers. But until one has driven these roads and come close to driving off the edge, as many of us have, do we realize our limitations on these roads.

The same is true with our waterfalls. Fortunately, we have had no waterfall fatalities this year, but the summer is young. And like those who wreck on mountain roads, it is those who are not experienced around waterfalls that usually make fatal mistakes. And like roads, it’s getting too close to the edge that causes problems.

Transylvania has a tremendous amount of natural beauty, but our mountain roads and waterfalls can be fatal. We need to follow all of the applicable rules, from wearing seatbelts and driving slower to wearing stable shoes and staying clear of slick rocks. That is our best chance of avoiding these tragedies that can be so devastating.


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