Statement of Chrissy Winkler
Moberly, MO
ISTEA Reauthorization
March 26, 1997

Mrs. Chrissy Winkler. My name is Chrissy Winkler, and I am here today to represent all the families who have lost loved ones on this dangerous two-lane highway. I lost my husband Tracy on October 25, 1996, on this highway. Not only did I lose my husband but the father of my three children. He was on his way home when he was hit head-on by an out-of-state driver. I feel that he would still be here today if this road would have been four-lane because there were guardrails on both sides of the road, and he had nowhere to go.

Since my husband's death, my children and I have had to make many changes. We are learning to do the things that Tracy would have done for us. There's a tremendous responsibility to raise our children without the love and support of Tracy.

Tracy and I had been married only 16 years on October 10, 1996. He was my best friend and his loss means I can no longer look forward to the many things we shared. For example, we shared the same birthday, and this year I had to celebrate that day without him. Needless to say, my birthday is no longer a joyous day.

My children and I have our own special guardian angel. He is looking over us, and his name is Tracy. It is still very painful and very difficult. Now I am teaching our oldest daughter Leslie, who is 16, to drive, and I know that one day she, too, will want to drive on Highway 63.

Our 14-year-old son Lance used to spend his weekends with his father hunting and working in our car wash. Now, he no longer has the privilege to learn from and enjoy time with his father.

Our youngest daughter Elizabeth is just seven years old and will not have the opportunity to do the things with her father and share with him the special things that she does.

Tracy will miss our children's graduations, birthdays, holidays, weddings, and the grandchildren that they will some day have.

Highway 63 needs to be widened to prevent future tragedies for our families. The widening of this 23-mile corridor will decrease the risk of fatal head-on collisions. As of right now, motorists continue to pass on the road's shoulder, over hillsides and at bridges.

Safety is a goal all of us must work together to achieve through better highway improvements such as making Highway 63 four lanes.

I want to see something good come out of the tragic loss of my husband and the father of my three children. No one should have to go through what I am going through.

So, will you please help us get Highway 63 four-lane before the year 2003? Thank you.