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White lines added to road where fatal crashes have happened

Flowers and a stuffed bear mark the tree where a young Spotsylvania County mother died in a car crash last month.

Now there also are white lines marking the edge of the narrow, winding country road some called dangerous following the crash.

The Virginia Department of Transportation added the new shoulder markings last week along a stretch covering 4 miles and ending at the Orange County line. The paint contains glass beads, which reflect headlights in low-visibility conditions.

“This will make the edge lines consistent over the 7-mile corridor in the county,” VDOT spokeswoman Kelly Hannon said.

VDOT evaluated the road following the April crash and chose to make the improvement, basing the decision on crash history, traffic volume and the road’s width.

The crash that spawned the evaluation happened at about 2:30 a.m. on April 9.

Samantha Kemmerer, a 26-year-old mother of two young boys, was heading home after having worked a late-night shift at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Spotsylvania.

Her car ran off the right side of the road, along a stretch without the white shoulder lines. Police said she apparently overcorrected, flipped her car and smashed into a tree on the left side of Orange Plank Road.

She died at the scene.

Between 2010 and 2012—the most recent VDOT data—there were 53 crashes, with 23 involving cars running off the road and hitting something.

Kemmerer’s accident was the first deadly crash on Orange Plank since 2009.

But she was at least the eighth person to die in a crash on that road since 2000, according to VDOT statistics and The Free Lance–Star’s archives.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436