EXCLUSIVE: Caltrans takes some action to make dangerous Oakland Estuary safer

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Caltrans is taking action after last month's I-Team report on what's become a dangerous stretch of road along the Oakland Estuary. But the victim's mother, who sparked our investigation, wants Caltrans to do more.

EXCLUSIVE: Deadly car accidents lead to questions at Oakland estuary

Sandra Martin couldn't bring herself to celebrate Christmas or New Year's -- the first since her son Robert died. "I went to visit my son and his grave and that was it."

The 23-year-old died after his car veered off Doolittle Drive on a rainy morning in February. Sandra believes a tire may have blown and there was nothing to stop his car from tumbling into the Oakland Estuary. In response to last month's I-Team report that showed Robert's story and other drivers who drowned in the area, Caltrans installed what are called, reflective traffic delineators, last week.

"And I appreciate their efforts and I see that, you know, they got on it, they were out there right away," Sandra told the ABC7 News I-Team.'

It is a step, sticking these safety markers in the ground. But Sandra wants a more robust and permanent solution. "They need to put metal guard rails up -- that's what I would like for Caltrans to do because I feel like that is the only thing that is going to stop a car from going in that water."

"Our sympathy goes out to the victim, the victim's family," said Robert Haus, a Caltrans spokesperson.

The agency told the I-Team Friday it will take time to evaluate what more should be done to make roads around the estuary safer.

"Well, guard rails are one possible option -- there's several other things," said Haus.

Oakland City Council President Larry Reid tells the ABC7 News I-Team that Caltrans is waiting for police reports on crashes along the estuary to make a final decision.

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"I'm sure that we will get guard rails along that corridor to make sure that we minimize the loss of any future life along this stretch," Reid said.

The guard rails can't come soon enough for Sandra, who is tryingto have something positive come from her son's death.

"They need to do something more and quickly because it's going to start raining, the water's going to fill up and it's just going to be more dangerous over there with the roads being wet," Sandra added.

The ABC7 News I-Team will keep pushing for change with Sandra's help.
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