One mans fight to make his community safer

OSKALOOSA (KSNT) – Some might call a small town like Oskaloosa a bump in the road.

“Cars are always speeding by, coming into town, going out of town everybody’s anticipating 65 miles an hour,” Tom Foxworthy, petition organizer said. A speed Foxworthy believes is too fast, “There’s always close calls.”

But on February 11th, it was more than just close, “Next thing I heard was this big boom,” Foxworthy said. “And next thing I know her car was moving, smoke was a flying.”

Foxworthy witnessed a two-vehicle accident that claimed the life of Jeanie Painter, “Another girl came along and checked her vitals, there wasn’t any there,” Foxworthy said.

After witnessing that, Foxworthy, an employee at the local lumber yard went from selling hardware, to collecting signatures, “Just for our safety, just trying to get things going.”

By gathering enough signatures Foxworthy hopes to convince the Kansas Department of Transportation to extend the 40 miles per hour zone that currently begins at Oskaloosa’s south city limit further to the south. Thereby giving northbound motorist more time to be traveling at or below the speed limit.

However, this isn’t the first time KDOT’s been asked to reduce the speed limit, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig asked too, “I don’t know if they ever did a study, I know nothing got done,and I didn’t hear anything back from them.”

Herrig believes something must be done, “We’ve got children who cross the road to go to the lumber yard, and the grocery store.”

But until something is done by KDOT, maybe because of Foxworthy’s petition, those children, and anyone driving near the US-59 business district are still at risk.

We did contact KDOT about this stretch of road, they’ve not yet returned our calls. Meanwhile, Foxworthy will continue to collect signatures at either Oskaloosa Lumber, 1007 Walnut Street, or Jim’s Parts City, 1003 Walnut.

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