RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — More than a year after the loss of Cally Wilson, her family has found the strength to not just share her story, but to push for changes to make roads in the county, particularly rural roads, safer.
In December 2019, Wilson was in her car with her 4-year-old daughter. She had just dropped off her son at school and was on the way to spend her day working at her father’s store.
The two took a turn down Old Red Cross Road, just northeast of Randleman, when they were hit head-on by another driver.
Wilson died at the scene, while her daughter suffered two broken arms and a broken foot.
“They theorize that he fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the center line, and collided into her car,” said Raven Sizemore, Wilson’s younger sister. But “we honestly still have so many questions unanswered.”
For Sizemore, the road her sister took was one that was necessary to take to get anywhere; however, it was known to her family as being dangerous.
“People fly down that road, there are no speed signs, and there are spots in the road that are just falling apart,” she said.
She explained, that was not the only road she knows of with that similar issue.
“The roads are dangerous. It’s just a risk that you have to take if you want to go anywhere.”
The pain her family, and Wilson’s two young children, endure daily has not gotten any easier, however, it has given them a new mission in life; to advocate for better funding for projects on rural roads.
“Randolph County is in the top 10 worst locations for deadly accidents on rural roads,” Sizemore said. NCDOT also recorded 28 crashes in the past four years in the county where speed was a contributing factor.
At a May county commissioners meeting, Sizemore spoke to the board to request more attention from them on funding for projects on rural roads.
“Whether that involves repainting the lines, or repaving road, or placing more speed limit signs, or wake up strips. Something has to change to better protect the citizens of this county,” she told them.
She also asked that more funding be put into equipment for first responders to better respond to crashes that involve trapped individuals.
The family of Cally Wilson has also had conversations with individuals with NCDOT, who would handle and ultimately decide if a road warrants any additional updates.
They also are pushing for a law change in Congress that would allow families of crash victims to view their loved one’s bodies before they are moved to a funeral home.
“The hardest thing for my mother was not being able to see Cally’s body after the crash. . . not being able to say goodbye or do anything tore her apart,” Sizemore said.
As they wait for responses from leaders, they have continued to share Wilson’s story with individuals in the community. They have several supporters that are helping them with future fundraising projects. They ask that if anyone is interested in helping them on this journey, to contact Raven Sizemore through Instagram and Facebook.