SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -A mother is speaking out for the first time after a car accident at a busy Shreveport intersection took her daughter’s life.
Five-year-old Chloe Maines died in November after her mother, Megan Maines, was attempting to turn onto Sophia Lane in Shreveport when another car driving south on Youree Drive hit them.
Since then, she’s worked to create change for that intersection.
Youree Drive and Sophia Lane might just seem like another intersection in Shreveport with cars passing through, but for Megan that intersection is a place that took something precious from her.
“She was full of personality," says Megan. "A beautiful blonde headed blue eyed little girl.”
Chloe Maines loved her bows, plenty of sparkles and a good pair of boots. But her life changed forever at that intersection on Monday, November 12, 2018.
“I went to turn," said Megan. "I didn’t see that car and five seconds after turning we got hit. We kind of jolted back and forth and then we went off into the ditch.”
After they were hit another driver rushed to help.
“He had rolled his window down and I was pointing “two” to my backseat, and I thought I was screaming but I wasn’t and nothing was coming out of my mouth.”
Megan’s one-year old son, Jace, was in the back seat and only suffered a scratch to his head, while five-year-old Chloe experienced significant damage to her spinal cord.
“They told us that she wouldn’t move, she wouldn’t open her eyes, nothing," Megan said. "She was in a coma pretty much and this is how she was going to be until she passed away.”
It was Chloe’s 5th birthday when the crash happened. The next day as her family was praying over her, Chloe opened her eyes.
“She tried to talk to us," she said. “She tried to tell her daddy that she loved him. She’d look over at him and he’d say, “Daddy loves you,” and she’d look over at me and, “I said I love you,” I wouldn’t tell her that she was in an accident, I was just telling her that she had been hurt, but everything was going to be okay.”
Megan was able to sleep with Chloe that night, then early Wednesday morning on November 14th, Chloe Maines passed away.
“It was hard. Just seeing her, I mean her eyes were open you know, they were open. She had tears in her eyes and as a mom you wonder what was she thinking and I’ll never know.
These last couple of months have been difficult for Megan and her family, but they work hard to make sure Chloe’s presence is always with them.
“The love that you have for your kids, is no less or no more," she said. "It’s just a different kind of love, and Chloe was like my backbone.”
So Megan knew she had to do something when it came to this intersection.
“Whenever it’s green both ways, the speed limit’s 50," she said. "You know most people are driving ten miles over the speed limit so you’re doing 60 going down the road. What if a kid’s walking across the street or just like us you know we’re turning.”
According to traffic reports obtained from the Shreveport Police Department, last year there were six car accidents at that intersection including Megan’s.
Currently there’s no turning signal at the intersection of Sophia Lane and Youree Drive, so in December Megan reached out to the district traffic engineer for the Louisiana Department of Transportation requesting one.
“I told him the situation, told them what happened, told him what I wanted to be done, and he told me it would take a long time," she said. "It would take several months to process it.”
However, last Friday Megan got a letter from that engineer saying they would be adding a turning signal to that intersection.
“I was so thankful," she said. "It took a big weight off of my shoulders because I still haven’t gone that way since the accident. I can’t go that way and I just feel like a turning signal is going to help a lot more people.”
Chloe’s room hasn’t changed one bit, and her family talks about her and feels her presence every single day.
While Megan has lost one of the most precious things in her life, it’s also become her motivation to create change, one turn signal at time.
“I hope that me getting out my word, my testimony, and getting a turning signal put up helps to change people’s mindset on a lot of things," she said.
DOTD says their in-house district traffic crews will install the turning signal at that intersection in a few weeks.