Father of teen killed on Hereford Farm Road pushes for lower speeds

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Standing on the side of Hereford Farm Road in Evans, Gordon Morin watches as cars zoom past.

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Gordon Morin sets up a wreath with a skateboard on it as a memorial to his son Cory Morin, 17, who was killed while trying to cross Hereford Farm Road. Morin will be collecting signatures on a petition to have the speed limit lowered to 45 mph for the entire length of Hereford Farm Road at Lewiston UMC on June 30.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Gordon Morin sets up a wreath with a skateboard on it as a memorial to his son Cory Morin, 17, who was killed while trying to cross Hereford Farm Road. Morin will be collecting signatures on a petition to have the speed limit lowered to 45 mph for the entire length of Hereford Farm Road at Lewiston UMC on June 30.

Jenna Martin
Business Reporter
Twitter: @JennaNMartin
E-mail | 706-823-3217

The Appling father is just steps away from where his 17-year-old son was hit by a sport utility vehicle Tuesday. His son died the next day at an Augusta hospital.

The grieving father wants to turn his pain of losing a child into something positive by pushing for a lower speed limit on the stretch of roadway where his son, Cory Allan Morin, was hit.

“I can’t bring my son back, but maybe I can help other people on that road,” he said.

Columbia County authorities said the Grovetown teen was on his way to a friend’s house when he stepped onto the edge of Hereford Farm Road near Lewiston Elementary School and was hit. The driver of the SUV was not at fault and won’t be charged in the accident, sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said.

“You don’t expect that,” said Cory’s stepmother Melanie Morin of the tragic news. “It comes out of the blue.

“It’s devastating.”

The speed limit for most of Hereford Farm Road is set at 45 mph. The limit increases to 55 mph, however, in the portion where Cory was standing.

Gordon Morin, a McDuffie County maintenance foreman for the Georgia Department of Transportation, said he believes the abrupt speed limit change on the road is confusing for most motorists.

Because many homes and an elementary school sit along part of Hereford Farm Road, Morin –along with many others he said he’s spoken to in the area – thinks a lower speed limit is warranted.

Speed limits on all county roads are set by GDOT, county Traffic Engineer Glen Bollinger said.

In order for the limit to change, a study must show that 85 percent of motorists are traveling within 5 to 7 mph of a given speed, he said.

An increase in traffic and development, though, will usually cause speeds to drop, he added.

Bollinger said the county has studied seeking a 45 mph speed limit on all of Hereford Farm Road, and will do so again soon.

Morin wants to speed up that process by starting a petition that addresses the dangers of Hereford Farm Road. He is asking people to submit their written concerns to him at 10 a.m. June 30 at Lewis Memorial United Methodist Church, which is on the corner of Columbia and Hereford Farm roads.

Until then, the Morin family remembers what a generous and funny young man Cory was.

His grandmother, Marlene Morin, said Cory’s favorite holiday was Halloween, when he would work at local haunted houses.

“We called him ‘Spooky’ because he loved the Halloween stuff in our house,” she said.

An avid skateboarder, Cory also loved animals, music and making people laugh.

“He loved to live on the wild side, but he would do anything for you,” Morin said.

Services for Cory

Funeral services will be held today for Cory Allan Morin at 11 a.m. in Bellevue Memorial Gardens Chapel. He will be buried at the cemetery.

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Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 06/23/12 - 01:34 am
Our Columbia County...

is notoriously pedestrian-unfriendly. How many of our fellow residents will have to die along our county's roadways before sidewalks are constructed beside them?

We have few sidewalks. And the T-SPLOST package which "Double" has been pushing with the frenzy of a starving canine would construct only a few, all in the Grovetown area.

Gosh, isn't it fit that the words "Double" and "construct" occur together in the last sentence? There must be little money to be "made" in the construction of sidewalks or they'd be as ubiquitous as new government buildings- everywhere.

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 06/23/12 - 01:36 am
CONDOLENCES to the Morin family.

May your son/brother rest in peace.

robaroo 06/23/12 - 09:50 am
Keep Speed Limit

My heart goes out to the Morin family for their loss. It's particularly hard to lose someone that young.

Driving a car is a dangerous activity. If we wanted to be completely safe, we would go back to the horse and buggy days. From the newspaper account, it doesn't look like speed was much of a factor.

On the other hand, sidewalks would have made a huge difference since there would have been a place to stand outside the road.

cheapster505 06/23/12 - 11:02 am

never thought of this before? just got in Your car and drove the speed limit? never cared about the speed limit before? NOW it's important issue Lived here how long ?NOW is the right time to lower the speed limit ?why not all speed limits including where my kids go to school you know the area YOU speed thru the area YOU are on the phone ?
Where MY kids are holding YOU up and YOU have to make up the time while on the phone thank YOU all very much for have the common sense to pay attention to something else instead of yourselves

twolane 06/23/12 - 11:44 am
very wide ditches

what does a kid stepping in front of a car have to do with speed limit.....it wouldnt matter if it was 35.....and why walk right beside the road last time i checked hereford farm road has very wide shoulders on both sides in some places nearly eight feet of ditches on both sides of the road.....

twolane 06/23/12 - 11:47 am
sidewalk wont help it you step in front of a car

and what would a sidewalk do it wasnt as if there was 5 foot of ditch to walk on....if there would have been a sidewalk still doesnt stop the fact he stepped in front of a car

itsanotherday1 06/23/12 - 01:58 pm
This was a tragic accident, but

dropping the speed limit to 45 would not make a bit of difference in his case. As a practical matter, it already is 45. I drive that road pretty much daily, and because of the change from 55 to 45, most folks don't do 55 anyway; not to mention, with the many turnoff's into neighborhoods, schools, etc., there is a natural slowing of traffic.

As someone else mentioned, sidewalks are the answer, not speed limits.

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