My husband and I followed our normal route to our cabin in Bland, Virginia, but this time as we climbed the steep pass carved from the stony mountain craig through Fancy Gap, Virginia, something caught our attention. It was a bright orange traffic cone marking the position of a large boulder perched on the side of the left lane in the north bound section of interstate 77.
“That’s the boulder that killed a man a couple of nights ago,” my husband said.
We were traveling around fifty-five or sixty mph as we sped up the mountain, and as usual I was looking off to the right where a spectacular view of the valley below can be seen as well as knobby Pilot Mountain. But I looked back in time to see the thing sitting there, innocuous now. We grew a little silent and then pondered the chance of that happening, as we often do. It was a serious reminder that life is short and can be robbed from you in a split second.
At the cabin I began to search the internet for details and was shocked to discover it was 31 year old Army Sergeant Su Wan Ko from Colorado. What was shocking was the likelihood that he had faced and outlived many dangers, before this incident. His family probably spent many sleepless nights worrying about his career choice. Then driving along the road, no visible danger in sight, a boulder loosened from the heavy rainfall lands in front of his car.
The ‘Roanoke Times’ quotes the police as saying the boulder will be broken up and removed. That will be a good thing, although there are plenty more where that one came from. All we can do is keep a good thought for his family and pray for the safety of others driving through this beautiful, albeit it dangerous, stretch of road.
picture courtesy of ‘Roanoke Times’ and Virginia State Police.
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