The Jan. 8 editorial condemning the design of "deadly I-66" in Virginia where my brother Jack Pyne was killed last week is right: "Mixing the use of shoulders for several purposes is lethal. A shoulder should not double as a traffic lane."

Jack's death was not accidental. An accident is an event occurring by chance outside the range of probability, as opposed to one that can be expected to happen. As the state police spokesman stated, "There was little he could have done to protect himself. His car was stranded where only 18 inches separate traffic from a five-foot concrete barrier." My brother was trapped.

I propose that the governor of Virginia authorize a study at once of the design of I-66 and order all those officials who approved it and now are defending their actions to take turns sitting at night trapped in a disabled car on the shoulder/breakdown/deceleration/rush-hour/exit lane that they designed. A couple of months' survey under such circumstances should provide these transportation experts with enough data to tell us if the number of deaths suffered is statistically significant. They may conclude that the level of fatalities in the road they designed is no longer acceptable.

Gov. Gilmore must take immediate action to prevent more mayhem on "deadly I-66" so that no other family will have to endure this senseless loss.


Chevy Chase