Residents hoping for speed limit changes near scene of deadly Suffolk crash


Residents living near the scene of a recent deadly crash in Suffolk are hoping for changes.

According to city officials, 29-year-old Sheaquan Jemel Darden died Sunday after the vehicle he was driving overturned on Holland Road. Darden was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.

A passenger was airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with serious injuries.

Those living down the road said they were terrified after hearing another crash happened so close to their homes.

“It’s been getting worse all the time. It’s just too fast and people making turns to get in the driveways, it’s very difficult to do,” said Merle Groves.

Groves has lived at her home on Holland for about 60 years.

She and her neighbor, Artith McKeithan, say they’re just a few of the residents who are petitioning to get the speed limit lowered on the section of Holland near their homes.

The two say the speed of the vehicles, specifically 18 wheelers, shakes their homes and endangers them when they’re outside.

“When I go out to get my mail, I have to hold onto the mailbox to get my mail,” McKeithan said.

Six of those crashes were fatal, including the one that killed Groves’ husband.

“He was pulling in the driveway in his pick up truck and a big 18 wheeler hit him, knocked him across the driveway, the ditch, and onto the corner of the other house,” she said.

Groves says she’s hoping what happened to her husband doesn’t happen to others again, especially other members of her family.

“We have four kids, seven grandkids, seven great-grandkids. I’m concerned about them driving, getting into the driveway. It’s not good,” she said.

10 On Your Side went out to the area with a speed radar gun to see how bad the speeding is.

The fastest we captured was 71 miles per hour.

That’s too fast for these neighbors.

They’re hoping to reduce it from 55 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour on Holland, starting from Lummis Road down to where it is already 45 mph around the corner from their homes.

They also want flashing lights installed and reflectors at turnabout sections on the road.

While they wait for changes to happen, they have a message for those who can do something about it now.

“Slow down! Slow down! Make it to 45. Slow down so we won’t have any more accidents and things,” McKeithan pleaded.

10 On Your Side did reach out to the City of Suffolk this afternoon on what it would take to lower the speed limit.

We plan on learning more information from them on Tuesday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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