'Dead man's curve': Residents near Hwy 218 in Mint Hill, Union Co. fighting for safety improvements

MINT HILL, NC (WBTV) - Every day when Sharon Decker leaves home and gets on Highway 218 from her house in Ashe Plantation in Mint Hill, she says there's a high level of stress about driving on the road that is now notorious for vehicle collisions.

"You know what I call it – dead man's curve - because that's exactly what it is," Decker said. "When you're coming around that curve you do not know if you're going to be able to turn in or if you're going to live through it."

Neighbors say the section of the highway in Mint Hill and Union County is dangerous because of speeding or distracted drivers unfamiliar with the curves in the road, which has one lane in each direction.

"No left lane to turn," Decker said, "and when you're coming around the last [curve] before you get to Ashe Plantation you can't see the cars."

"There's no way - coming around as fast as they do - like 55 around there that curve you can't stop," Decker added. "You just have to pray that you don't get hit."

According to Mint Hill Police, since January 1, 2017, there have been 27 collisions along NC 218 from east of Brief Road to the county line.

Police say the speed limit along that stretch is 45 mph in parts and 55 mph in others.

Jessica and William Stewart live on Mill Grove Road, which is off of Hwy 218 in Union County.

"It's very busy. It's very deadly. It's very dangerous," Jessica Stewart said. "Something that we've seen a lot of accidents on. We've seen a lot of people get hurt."

"Lots of accidents, very dangerous. And I really worry about my daughter's bus trying to get out here on 218," said William Stewart. "Trying to get into 218 is really difficult because of the volume you've got coming down. And if you're looking off to the right, all the trees off to the righthand side your field of vision is blocked from everybody coming around the curve and you can't see them. So once you pull  out, you think it's clear - once you pull out you find out real fast it wasn't."

That's why Jessica Stewart started a petition demanding state transportation officials improve the road.

"You just constantly see people upset. They're concerned. They're scared," she said. "We need to have the speed limit lowered. We need to have turn signals or turn lanes and we might need a light or two. Something's got to change."

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