The Dead of Route 92

You’d think the worst auto accidents would be on winding mountain roads where there’s barely enough room for two cars to get by each other, but the deaths mostly occur on the long straight state roads. The speed limits are already pretty high here because it takes so long to get where you’re going, but it’s never fast enough for people who want to fly.

On these long straight roads, the visibility is pretty good and there are plenty of places to pass. So nobody really knows why there are so many deaths, but there are, and there are shrines all over the place. I used to be a speeder but I’m not anymore.

Someone told me this well-kept shrine is for a group of young girls who died before I moved here, but it's easy to see that someones still misses them dearly.

This girl was on the back of a motorcycle.

This young man was going too fast around the curve near the Lavender Pit. He was not the first to die on this curve.

This shrine is near the post office on 92. Mother/daughter? Two sisters? I don't know.

Kevin was a friend to all and is missed very much by his family and the community. His accident happened at mile marker 31, Rt. 92, he died a few days later in a Tucson hospital.

Shrine to unknown person

Shrine to unknown person on Rt. 92 near Hereford...a family is missing their mom.

Shrine to person unknown to me

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9 responses to “The Dead of Route 92

  1. I am a speeder since I first started learning to drive. Bad habit, I know and I’ve had my license revoked in the past (several times). The only time I was not a speeder was the five years I lived in Seattle — partially due to not owning a car! I did, however, still drive on occasion there and I did not feel the urgency to stomp the gas pedal like I do elsewhere and I have always wondered why.

    I’ve seen shrines on the side of the road just appear and I’ve always wondered how come I’ve never actually seen someone placing the flowers. There is a shrine that I passed daily on the way to work, one morning it was there when it was not the night before. I do slow down when I see a shrine as it reminds me of my irresponsibility.

    I want to say “nice” or “great” post but it seems inappropriate, if you know what I mean, since it is not nice that these people are gone. It is befitting for remembrance of ghosts of a different type on Halloween though!

  2. I didn’t even think of the Halloween angle!

    It’s hard to see these shrines and not wonder about the people who died and the bereaved they left behind. Very few drivers are paying attention these days, so we have to be doubly alert. So you slow down now, girl!

  3. I like the carefully placed stone arrangement for the young man. Truthfully, I dislike the aesthetics of plastic flowers, but the stones are as beautiful as any monument.

    • I like the cairns too, they’re also popular here as a simple but elegant art form that people build for no other reason than to enjoy, such as along paths, etc. Unfortunately plastic flowers are even more popular!

  4. Actually, and this is hard to get your head round as a statistic – More people have been killed in automobile accidents worldwide than the total number of deaths in WWI and WW2 put together. Sad but true.

  5. Hi Kevin, good to hear from you.

    Yes that statistic is hard to grasp. I would like to think I am above being unprepared at that one split second when danger occurs, but I too am sometimes busy looking for my phone. We are so fragile…just little heaps of bone and skin. And we’re needed.

  6. Well actually my best friend who i had known from the age of 5 died in a car-crash aged 19. He was studying to be a Nuclear physicist. The shock was enough to discourage me from ever wanting to learn to drive, a decision which in retrospect has seriously affected my social and career opportunities.

  7. Terrible prices paid to have roads and cars upon them. Multiple the effects of road and car. I’m not so sure it’s progress. A sad post.

  8. Hi Jack,

    Think of the close calls of your life, the times when it could have gone either way…that’s scary. I think alcohol was involved in some of the cases above. The worst thing is the people who get caught at the wrong place at the wrong time and have done nothing wrong themselves.

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