PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Debbie Talbot was walking her dog last May along Cardinal Drive when a car lost control and hit her. She died two days later in the hospital. Speed was believed to be a factor in the crash.
After the one-year anniversary of her death, family and friends placed a large sign along Cardinal Drive, as a reminder to drivers that the speed limit there is 45 miles per hour.
Talbot left behind her husband, two children and countless friends.
"My mom was the center of our world, she was the rock of our family," said her daughter, Lauren Talbot.
Her best friend of 35 years, Lori Rulapaugh told WUSA9 the two were soulmates. Since her death, Rulapaugh and other loved ones have been pushing to make that stretch of road safer for others.
Since last year, two more people have died in accidents along that same area on Cardinal Drive. The latest accident happened just a few weeks ago.
"It's out of control. It's getting to a point where it's a nightly routine. Between 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. someone is speeding down that road," said Lauren Talbot.
Just days before she died, Talbot reached out to Prince William County Police complaining about the speed in that area.
A speed study conducted after Talbot's death last year found no excessive speeding in that area. Despite those results, Prince William County Police have ramped up patrol along that stretch of road. According to police, over the last several months, they have handed out more than 800 speeding tickets to drivers.
Speed study or not, Talbot's loved ones said people going faster than the posted signs is an issue.
"How many more deaths is it going to take before you do something," said Rulapaugh.
A stoplight and higher speeding fines are a few safety updates loved ones have suggested. While no change will bring Debbit back, they hope it will prevent another family from feeling this pain.
"It only takes a second of carelessness to take someone's life. I guarantee you from our own personal experience that this is the last thing you ever want to experience yourself. The pain does not go away," said Rulapaugh.
Board of Supervisors member Victor Angry represents the Neabsco District where these crashes have occurred. He tells WUSA9 his staff is currently in the works of coming up with potential solutions that will be presented to the full board at a later time.
Angry also said he wants to see even more traffic enforcement happen in that area. If that means hiring more officers, he wants to look into doing that as well.