PCB Neighborhood Wants Change After Fatal Accident

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

Balloons, flowers, and a cross stood at the intersection of Joan Avenue and Houston Street Monday in memory of James Gladney, 27 years old. Gladney died Sunday night after troopers said William Rhodes, 27 years old, ran into him with his car.

"How last night was, I still haven't got over it. I asked God to take care of him, and it's just a bad situation," said nearby resident Peggy Ponce.

While family and friends are left to mourn, neighbors in the area are demanding change. Mechelle Sherrill, who said she walks or rides her bicycle to work, told NewsChannel 7 Joan Avenue is a dangerous strip of road.

"Not safe. It's tough. You get the speeders and stuff like that. But there has been people that get ran off the road with their bikes and things. I think speedbumps would definitely deter them," said Sherrill.

She said another big issue is lack of light.

"You pretty much need a flashlight to see," Sherrill added, "When you're staying on the road there is no light."

If she wants more street lights, though, she'll have to pay. Bay County officials said it's up to Gulf Power, and Gulf Power officials told NewsChannel 7 it charges residents anywhere from $8 to more than $30 per light per month.

"I don't think that they should put it directly on the residents," Sherrill said.

She also told NewsChannel 7's Bryan Anderson there should be more police patrol.

"Do you think they're doing enough to keep this road safe?" asked Anderson.

"I think that they got their hands full," Sherrill answered.

If nothing is done she feared she could be next.

"Lights done, sidewalks done, speedbumps done, it's a long paper trail that's going to unfortunately have to happen. I don't feel comfortable walking with the cars zipping, just go go go, it's terrible," said Sherrill.

Bay County Jail officials said Rhodes was on suicide watch Monday. He's charged with DUI manslaughter.


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