New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 15, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
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Vol. 149 No. 19 20 pgs. in 2 sections December 15, 1999 \T 7„ T„ Serving Comal County since 1852 50 centsWednesday
NBISD trustees discuss traffic alternatives
By Heather Todd
The mother of a New Braunfels High School student who died in a car accident on Loop 337 Oct. 9 urged school trustees Tuesday night to not make future safety in front of the high school a financial issue.
Janette Gorski, the mother of NBHS student Shelby Farnsworth, told trustees they shouldn’t put a financial value on a child’s life when considering future plans for traffic safety in front of the high school, 2551 Loop 337.
Gorksi’s comments preceded a presentation by the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas Transportation Institute on a three-phase plan to enhance traffic safety at Loop 337 and NBHS.
TxDOT agreed to conduct a traffic study on Loop 337 in front of the high school in response to public outcry after a fatal accident in front of the school in October.
Farnsworth, 16, and Fernando Diaz,
15, were killed Oct. 9 when their car was struck by a quarter ton pickup on Loop 337 in front of NBHS.
Gorski told trustees Tuesday night, “It was my child, but it could have been anyone else’s child. There are a lot of kids coming in and out of that school and everyone wants to be sure that their children are safe.”
Several audience members applauded Gorski’s remarks.
Russell Henk, program manager for TTI, recommended a number of measures, including installation of a traffic signal and modifications to school driveways.
The following were TTI’s recommendations:
• Phase I — Pavement grooves on Loop 337 at the entrance of school zones to help reduce traffic speed
• Parking restrictions and/or modifications to parking conditions in the dirt area in front of the school and making additional parking available in back of the school
• Restricting driveway No. I (the driveway closest to the stadium) to bus traffic only
• Phase UA — Modifying driveway
No. 2 (the middle driveway) to an entrance-only driveway
• Modifying driveway No. 3 (next to Gruene Wood Villa Apartments) to an exit-only driveway
• Closing driveway to Gruene Wood Villa apartment complex or make it a right-tum only driveway
• Installing a traffic signal at driveway No. 3
• Phase IIB (if no traffic signal) — A sensor tied to signs and strobes that would signal when a vehicle is turning onto Loop 337
• Phase III — Extend Ohio Avenue from California Boulevard to Texas 46. Ohio currently runs from California to a dead end near Panther Creek.
Henk said the proposed plan could reduce accident potential in front of the school by 50 percent.
“I think Phase UA with the traffic signal is the best overall package and that’s the one we are actually recommending,” he said.
But, he said a traffic signal would almost guarantee more rear-end collisions and would slow down traffic exiting the high school.
Henk said a traffic study of the area indicated driveway No. 3 met two of the 12 warrants that must be present in order for engineers to consider installing a traffic signal.
“’Driveway No. 3 has the highest volume of exiting traffic,” he said.
Henk also said there was not a distinct pattern where traffic accidents occurred in front of the school during the past four years.
Henk said the district needed to construct a fence or curb to prevent students from accessing Loop 337 by driving across an unpaved parking area in front of the school.
A district committee will work with TxDOT to make a final recommendation for action.
Trustees must report a plan of action to TxDOT by January to make the state’s deadline.
Costs estimates were not available, but resident TxDOT engineer Greg Malatek said TxDOT would pay for the traffic signal, signs and any improvements to road surfaces.
Christmas on their own
A young family struggles through the holidays after father dies in car accident in November
Austin, 5, and Lillie, 4, play under the Christmas tree while their mom, Jennifer McGinley, keeps up with 18-month-old Star. McGinley is celebrating Christmas without her husband, Shaun, who was killed in a car accident in November.
By Erin Magruder
Jennifer McGinley has seen more tragedy in her 22 years than any one person should have to bear.
Having lost a father, brother and sister all before the age of IO, she was looking forward to a time when her life would be Filled with joy instead of sorrow.
“When I was little, I always wondered what I had done to make God so angry at me,” she said. “When you lose a family member, that hurt never goes away.”
When she met future husband Shaun
McGinley three years ago, everything changed in her life.
“From the day I met him, I knew we were meant to be together,” she said. “I thought about growing old with him and being happy having a family.”
The two were married in June 1998.
But fate would be unkind to Jennifer McGinley once again.
On Nov. 12, Shaun, 21, was killed in an automobile accident when the car he was driving flipped over the side of a bridge on River Road.
McGinley and three passengers traveled more than 50 feet in the air before the car slammed into the hard bedrock
bottom of the Guadalupe River at the third crossing.
McGinley was killed instantly, leaving behind an 18-month-old daughter, Star, and Jennifer McGinley’s two young children from a previous marriage — Austin, 5, and Lillie, 4.
“We had just bought a house near my parents at Canyon Lake. We were just going to have a normal life.” Jennifer McGinley said. “Eventually, Shaun was going to adopt Austin and Lillie. He was their father IOO percent.” McGinley’s grief was compounded
See FAMILY/5 A
A van and pickup collided in a Tuesday morning accident that sent three men to University Hospital in San Antonio.
U.S. 281 wreck sends three men to hospital
From staff reports
BULVERDE — Three men were seriously injured in a two-car accident about 7:50 a.m. Tuesday at U.S. 281 and Farm-to-Market Road 1863 when a motorist allegedly failed to yield right-of-way.
Emergency personnel from the Bulverde Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services used the "jaws of life" to pry two men from an
overturned construction company pickup truck and one man from a van.
Texas Department of Public Safety, Comal County Sheriff’s Department and Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department and EMS also responded.
All three men were transported by helicopter to University Hospital in San Antonio and were alert and conscious at the time of transport, said Raylon Schlueder, Bulverde Volunteer Fire
Drizzle doesn’t stop fireworks ban
By Erin Magruder
This past weekend’s rainfall did little more than get verything in New Braunfels wet.
The long-awaited precipitation did nothing to lead ’omal County Commissioners to lift the bum ban tat has been in place since Aug. 9. They voted Thurs-ay to extend the bum ban another three months. And on Monday, they enacted a ban on the sale and se of fireworks such as skyrockets with sticks and mislies with fins. Violation of the ban could result in a ne up to $500.
Total recorded rainfall for the weekend was less lan one-quarter of an inch, the National Weather ervice reported."The rain did not do anything to lower the fire danger in the county.”
Lin Manford Comal County Fire Marshal
“The rain did not do anything to lower the fire danger in the county,” Fire Marshal Lin Manford said.
New Braunfels recently made the top three list of driest places to live in tile entire state, the Texas Forest Service reported.
The National Weather Service predicted the dry conditions will continue throughout the w inter, and sig-See BAN/5A
Key Code 76
Officer Michael Caldwell with the sheriffs office said the truck was heading west on FM 1863 and failed to yield right-of-way to a van heading north on U.S. 281. The van collided with the pickup.
About 20 to 30 gallons of gasoline that leaked from the truck had to be contained, and officers covered the spill with peat moss.Cheer Fund needs help from you!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung is just days away from delivering food baskets to needy New Braunfels area residents, but we still need your help.
Donations are behind previous years’ efforts, and every dollar will go toward buying food for folks who otherwise would not have nice holiday meals. Make your donation to the Cheer Fund at 707 Landa St. If you would like to help assemble or deliver the baskets, drop by the Herald-Zeitung about 8 a.m