A drive down Catfish Lake Road

Published: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 04:43 PM.

I tried to see how deep the water was in the area of the crash, but not wanting to slip down the embankment into the water on the cold 40-degree day, I thought better of it.

Still, I felt uncomfortable at the spot, the site where two men died. I know I was there to do a job — to take a picture to illustrate a story about the road. The Department of Transportation has no plans to pave the road or change it. They may look at speed limit signs.

We all know how well speed limit signs work on U.S. 70. I would guess they would be equally as effective on Catfish Lake Road.

I said a little prayer, asking God to look after the two men and their families, and then went to work, taking the photo that appears on today’s front page. I got back in my truck and headed for home.

I understand the purpose of Catfish Lake Road. It’s there to allow access for recreational activities in the Croatan National Forest. It’s not supposed to be the high-speed shortcut between Havelock and Jacksonville that it has become for some.

Of course, others may not be able to resist the temptation to joyride on the road, taking advantage of the dirt and gravel to spin their tires and have some fun.

Maybe in my younger days, I would have done the same thing. Now at 48, I’m probably a bit too old for such play — or maybe just a bit wiser, with the memory of a lone white cross next to a deep-water canal alongside the dirt road still fresh in my mind.

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