Road Rage Homicide Raises I-81 Safety Concerns


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. - Interstate-81 is a stretch of highway that is known for speeding drivers and a high volume of traffic.

"The volume is 45,000 cars or traffic per day,” said Franklin County Commissioner Robert Thomas, who is also a member of the I-81 Corridor Coalition. “That's 16,425,000 trips per year on this stretch of interstate. That's a lot of traffic."

In light of the recent road rage homicide that claimed the life of 28-year-old Timothy Davison, elected officials and community members are looking for more ways keep I-81 safe.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has called for an FCC investigation into why Davison’s call was dropped while he was being pursued by a shooter.

"Phone service in this day in age with all the technology and all the know-how, shouldn't be a question mark especially when it comes to an emergency," said Casey.

Thomas says dropped calls are a frequent occurrence when crossing the Pennsylvania-Maryland state line.

"When you're driving down the road, and you're bouncing from one tower to the next, that's where the issue is,” said Thomas. “Dropped calls routinely happen in that area. Obviously it happened to [Davison]. I’ve had it happen to me several times."

In addition to improving technology, experts say there are several things that could be done to increase safety on the Interstate, including adding more lanes.

"Take the Valley Mall exit when you get off and go northbound. That is a rather short entry to get onto the Interstate,” said Thomas. “That creates a significant challenge."

Hagerstown residents have started an online petition to try and increase safety measures on the stretch of I-81 between Martinsburg and Chambersburg.

But for some, avoiding I-81 altogether is the best way to stay safe.

"I just prefer to stay off the interstate because it's safer to just take back roads where I need to get to,” said local resident Michael Turk.

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