Daughter of Cleveland woman killed in crash on ‘no salt’ road speaks out

Daughter of Cleveland woman killed in crash on ‘no salt’ road speaks out
Denine Pierce died in a single-vehicle crash on a "no salt" road on Feb. 14 (Source: Submitted Photo)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The family of a Cleveland woman who was killed in a crash on a “no salt” road last week is considering a lawsuit.

Questions raised over ‘no salt’ roads after deadly crash on Cleveland’s West Side

Denine Pierce, 53, died in the single-vehicle crash last Thursday.

Police said she was driving southbound on Fulton Road and "failed to negotiate the left turn, operated out of control on the snow covered road, through the Vega Avenue intersection."

Pierce slammed into a pillar beneath the bridge and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passenger was severely injured.

Just a few blocks away from the site of the crash, a sign is posted along the side of the road, warning crews not to salt the roadway during winter months.

“I don’t have any understanding that my mother is deceased because (Cleveland) didn’t want to put salt on the road but decided to leave it open,” said Tashiana Dennis, the daughter of Pierce.

Her mother would have turned 54-years-old on Tuesday.

“I want answers. My whole family wants answers,” said Dennis. “My grandmother doesn’t have her daughter anymore. It’s unacceptable.”

“How could you just be so careless with people’s lives to not care to prevent this problem?” Dennis asked.

Family heartbroken after deadly crash in Cleveland

19 News has repeatedly asked the city of Cleveland for comment; a spokesperson replied to an e-mail request last Friday, but only to forward information previously released by Cleveland Police.

At the time, we asked city officials for more information on how many “no salt” roads exist in the city and what, if any, alternatives exist to avoid the issue.

After refusing to answer our questions last week, a spokesperson did not respond to our e-mail seeking similar information on Tuesday.

In a related story last year, an engineer working on a construction project in Parma told 19 News that new concrete isn’t treated with salt until it’s cured, or settled. That process, he said, takes up to 90 days.

19 News reached out to ODOT, which is not responsible for treating city streets, for information on their protocol.

An ODOT spokesperson said they salt, treat and plow all of the roads they’re responsible for, adding that newly constructed surfaces typically won’t open to drivers until they’re fully cured.

Denine Pierce’s funeral has been set for Friday, Feb. 28. Her family is accepting donations to help cover costs. You can make a contribution by clicking here.

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