Steve Contry, councilor of Woughton ward, has been petitioning for more than a year to have the fence
separating the hospital and busy 70 mph highway repaired. His pleas have been unanswered as the
accident rate continues to rise. Three people have been killed already and more injured. Most victims
are honest men and women that cross the road between the damaged piece of fence just to get to
the bus stop on the other side. The bus runs infrequently so missing could a real problem for many.
Contry has campaigned relentlessly to the city officials to simply repair the fence and divert pedestrian
usage to the assigned underpass just a few blocks down. Unfortunately, nothing has been done thus
far. However he has remained diligent, and has been simultaneously educating pediatricians about the
dangers and encouraging them to be safer and use the assigned walkway beyond the fence.
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River city police are under fire this week as allegations of unrecorded reports of a hole in a fence that
lead to a canal led to the accidental drowning of 2 year old boy Donoven Lopez. Officials say that prior
to the incident there was only one recorded complaint of the whole in the fence from nearly three years
ago. Jeff Hawker, Riverton spokesperson, attests that although several complaints are often received
and written down, there is no real requirement to record every complaint. Neighbors disagree, saying
that they noticed the large hole, and immediately reported it to city officials, yet still had not been
repaired. Park employees claim that the fence had been repaired nearly three weeks prior, however
graffiti and vandals must have re-damaged it. Due to the complaint that actually was documented,
the city spent 16,000 to put a brand new fence in its place. City officials are adamant by saying that
although tragic this was a isolated incident, and normally these matters as it pertains to the fence are
worked on the same day as the complaint. Ultimately city officials have made it a priority to figure out in
the coming months how to make the canal safer.
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In a bizarre twist, a 33 year old woman is suing property owner after being impaled by an uncapped
Victorian fence on November 1, 2008. The South Ballarat woman, Ms. Michelle Eggleston, at the time
was drunk and urinating over a wall when she lost her footing and fell. She sustained considerable injury
to her groin, as the fence penetrated her abdomen requiring surgery. According to Victoria’s Supreme
Court her lawsuit claims that the fence was poorly put together and that no proper signage warned
individuals of the potential danger. Also part of her claim is that due to the injury she underwent painful
surgeries to repair the damage, suffered post operative depression, and has been unable to work since
the incident. The property owner, her former fiancé, has not commented thus far on the allegations. Ms.
Eggleston’s attorneys are expected to bring the case to trial later this year.
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Daniel Hernandez and his wife Jenny were denied permission to build a fence that would surround
their property late last week. The reason for the construction was to protect the safety of their children
from the busy intersection at Broadway and Adams. The couple owned and operated a home day care
center, and felt the chain fence would be the most effective means to keep children from running into
the street. Originally, their request was granted, however township officials stepped in claiming that
the fence was unsightly and obstructed the view of motorists. Under state law because of the couple’s
location to the intersection, there are certain zoning restrictions that township officials exploited in
order to squash the project. Although city officials shut down the project, a spoke person commended
their efforts for safety and cited alternative options that could be enacted behind the property.
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