Statement of Carolyn Winkler
Moberly, Missouri
ISTEA Reauthorization
March 26, 1997

Mr. Chairman - Members of the Committee - I am so grateful for the opportunity to speak to you about Highway 63 in Missouri.

My name is Carolyn Winkler - My husband Art is here with me today.

The force that compels me to be here is that on October 25, 1996 Art and I experienced a parent's nightmare. Our son Tracy was killed in a head-on collision on Highway 63. He was not quite 35 years old.

This tragedy occurred on an approximately 23 mile stretch of two-laned 63 between Columbia and Moberly when an out-of-state driver pulled into his lane hitting Tracy head-on!

We feel that had this been four-laned~ our son would be alive today.

According to Missouri Highway Patrol statistics compiled by the North Central Missouri Safety Council, in the past six years there have been 1,086 accidents, resulting in 483 injuries and 30 deaths.

The 23 mile area of two-lane highway where our son lost his life, carries 8,500 to 9,500 vehicles every day.

You only have to make one trip from Columbia to Moberly to see the dangerous incidents that happen. People are in a hurry to get to or from work and out-of-state drivers that pass, don't realize they will probably be only 3 or 4 cars ahead when they reach safe four-lane roads at either Moberly or just north of Columbia.

Many times each day, drivers are observed passing on the right shoulder in the face of oncoming traffic and on hills and curves.

Other drivers must slow down or, if they are fortunate enough to have time, get over on the shoulder.

Tracy didn't have that opportunity. It appears he only had an instant's warning before being hit head-on.

The four-laning of Highway 63 is way overdue and may have been passed over in favor of construction on less life-threatening roads in the past.

All of that is irrelevant now, except for one very important fact, my husband and I have lost our precious son, our daughter-in-law and their 3 children must continue their lives without the love and support of their husband and Dad and our two daughters have lost their only brother.

Over 16 years ago Tracy and Chrissy moved into their home across the road from us, where Chrissy and the children continue to live. Each day we watch them struggle with their grief and the frust~rations they encounter without Tracy.

The petitions we have with~ us have been signed by over 3700 persons who desperately want and need this road four-laned. Tracy only made this trip between Columbia and Moberly once or twice a month. What are the odds for people traveling it everyday?

The lives of the citizens in our ~community all of our sons, daughters and even our own lives depend upon completing this four-lane project.

In memory of Tracy, we're asking you to please get federal finding assigned for four-lanin~g Highway 63 and help us get it started now!

It is my prayer that none of you or anyone else has to experience the horrible nightmare of losing a child or a loved one before this project is completed.

Thank you.