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Drive Safely on this Death Drive

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Many tourists traveling from the north to Virginia Beach, Virginia go through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, a tourist attraction itself, which brings them directly to Shore Drive. This drive, in turn, leads to the city’s resort strip along the Atlantic Ocean.

There is something gravely wrong with this drive. A suspicious number of vehicular fatalities have occurred there. The creepy nature of these fatalities brings to mind the Stephen King book, Christine, about a possessed car that goes on a killing spree.

The year 2005 seemed to be an especially tragic year as two double fatalities happened just months apart. Another victim was driving from a church after attending a wedding ceremony when she was hit. A pedestrian was hit from behind while jogging.

There were so many vehicular related deaths on this drive that the city posted a large sign at the entrance that kept a running tally of its growing death rate since 1977. The large “epithet” sign warned drivers to “Drive Safe and Sober.”

In 2006, the widow of number 89 expressed her discontent with being reminded of her husband’s tragic death every time she drove pass the sign. I wrote a letter to the editor explaining that visitors to a resort city should be greeted with a sign expressing life, not death. Soon thereafter the infamous sign was removed.

I myself have had run-ins with this infamous drive. The business I used to work at on this drive had been hit – not once, but three times.

First, a car plowed through the lawn, knocking over public safety signs. After the city mounted new signs, another vehicle plowed over them before crashing into the neighbor’s marquee.

In the third incident, a truck slammed into our dumpster and pushed it into our electrical box before it knocked a wall down within inches of where I was standing. It took weeks for the utility company to get the power back to normal.

When a regular customer of mine didn’t show up as expected, I was shocked to find out he was killed when his truck crashed into a tree on Shore Drive.

Armed with millions of dollars and research information, a task force is working to try and “exorcize” this dangerous drive, but every summer the drive continues to take its toll on visitors and locals. The locals are privy to the drive’s infamous reputation, but the tourists are not. At least, with numbers everyone could see the danger in concrete terms.

Maybe there’s nothing mysterious about this drive. Maybe applying good old driving habits is all that is needed to end its curse.

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About Larry Estes

  • http://www.hamptonroadscholar.blogspot.com Larry Estes

    Talk about Scary… less than 3 hours after this article was published about the deadly Shore Drive, a bicyclist was struck and killed on this drive this morning. This article is Prophetic!

  • http://www.thevirginiabeachdiet.com DaddyWorksFromHome

    You’ve got the answer, Larry, Apply good old driving habits, stay alert. Thank you for this article. Back in 1959 when Shore Drive was just 2 lanes I came upon a head on collision at midnight around the Fort Story curve and the two girls were thrown out of their car with such force they came out of their shoes. Eerie. I can still remember this gruesome scene.