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Community Demands Change After Another Fatal Crash on Hwy. 4 in Contra Costa

There’s a renewed call for safety measures after a deadly crash on Highway 4 in Contra Costa County. 

The family of 49-year-old Jeremiah Smeby is trying to adapt to life without him. Smeby died last week when another car collided with his vehicle on Hwy. 4 in Martinez.

“He was an incredible man. He was selfless, an amazing father, friend,” said Elise Almaraz, the victim’s daughter in law. “On Wednesday night, he was driving from Antioch to Martinez and he was hit by another vehicle. That vehicle pushed him off the side of the freeway where he hit a tree.”

Laura Arkell saw it happen from her condominium window and was the one that called 911.

“I open my blinds and heard the impact and saw them come down the embankment and hit the trees,” she said. “It was out of a horror movie. I don’t think I could even put words to it.”

This is not the first time it has happened. She says she’s witnessed accident after deadly accident on the same stretch of highway and insists something has to change. 

“Figure it out, put a barricade and stop people from hitting trees,” said Arkell.

“Believe it or not, in the 20 years I’ve been with a department we’ve been on the stretch of highway within 100 yards, many many accidents, for some reason it’s a sweeping turn on Highway 4 going westbound and for some reason we’ve had major accidents here, unfortunately,” said Contra Costa County Fire District  Battalion Chief Paul Silva.

Smeby’s family is calling for change. They believe a guardrail may have saved him and the 18-year-old driver of the other car who also died. 

“It could’ve possibly been prevented,” said Almaraz.

Smeby’s family has set up a GoFundMe to help his kids. Meanwhile, they and others, say they will push for a guardrail so more lives aren’t lost

“What are you doing about this? Isn’t enough, enough? This is enough. People are dying, fix it,” said Arkell.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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