The James Kim story: turn-off sign obscured by tree

The James Kim family ended up on Bear Camp Road because they missed a turn off I-5 onto a much better road. Here’s a possible explanation of how they may have gone wrong.

as I drove South on I-5. The sign to OR 42 on I-5 is actually a fairly complicated sign. The reason is that it has TWO numbers of the routes you could seek, with Route 99 appearing on the left and Route 42 on the right. Sorry I can’t reproduce it here precisely, but it is something like this:

              99     Coos Bay
Winston
      42                          

In other words, if the Kim family was looking for “42,” they could easily have missed the sign, because they might have just seen the “99.” Indeed, what I discovered was actually more scary than that. As I approached the sign announcing that the exit was one mile away, I shuddered because there was a growth of pine or fir branch covering the “42” on the right of the sign. Thus it would have been nearly impossible for them to have seen the “42” on the sign. I was looking for it, I knew where it was and I almost missed it. I had to crane my neck as I was passing the sign to see the “42.” No one has yet pointed this out. There was one more sign right at the exit, as usual, but if they hadn’t been prepared for it before that time, there was no reason to think they would have seen it.

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1 Comment

Filed under James Kim, Outdoors

One response to “The James Kim story: turn-off sign obscured by tree

  1. Vlad

    Not one, but a series of mistakes does a disaster make…

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