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Charlottesville Offers Roadside Memorials

The family of Quentus Brooks helps install the city's first official roadside memorial.
The family of Quintus Brooks helps install the city's first official roadside memorial.

It’s been three years since Quintus Brooks was killed in a crash on a four-lane road in Charlottesville, but his mother and other relatives still grieve.

“It happened right before his 21st birthday," says Angela Brooks. "October the first was when it happened. His birthday is today."

So the family chose to remember him with a sign proclaiming Drive Safely in Memory of Quintus Brooks. Deputy City Manager Samuel Sanders promoted the program that gives people this option.

“It’s actually a memorial that speaks to driving safely, so it becomes a public service announcement in a way," he explains. "It allows us to help a family member through the grieving process.”

And spokesman Brian Wheeler adds the city is now considering a lower speed limit for the four-lane road where Quintus Brooks died.

“Fifth Street has had a number of accidents and fatalities unfortunately. The speed limit is 45 miles an hour. We need to make sure that we’re being safe both for pedestrians, people on bikes and also in their vehicles.”

Brooks’ mother says that would be a fitting way to remember him.

“This road right here is funny with a curve right there, and people just like to speed, so just remember to slow down and take your time.”

"He will always be remembered," adds family friend Sharonda Folley.

Virginia’s Department of Transportation has a similar program, providing memorial signs on state roads and highways.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief