Article Comment 

Voice of the people: Deloris Belhumeur




Victim of uncovered drain on Main Street 


On a Sunday morning, July 21, I drove to a St. Vincent de Paul meeting at the Annunciation Activities Center, and as I approached my turn at Main Street and Ninth Street South, I noted that a rather large vehicle approaching me was signaling to turn to their left as I was to turn right. To give the larger vehicle room to turn without putting my Honda Fit into the path of oncoming traffic from Ninth Street, I pulled up further into the intersection at Main and Ninth so the larger vehicle could more easily make the turn. As I made my turn, my tire dropped into an open storm drain and was shredded. I noted afterward also that the metal drain cover for the corner storm drain was off the drain and lying in the street. 


On Monday, I talked to Mayor Smith. To his credit, he immediately called one of the city employees who was out in his work truck and asked him to go to the site and check it our and take pictures. Then he instructed me to have the tire replaced, turn in a report and he would look into it. I had the tire replaced for $123, the lesser of four estimates. Later, I received a letter dated July 29 from JWF Specialty Company out of Indianapolis, Ind., letting me know they are the claims administrator for the City of Columbus and were in the process of investigating the incident.  


Today, I received the results of the investigation: "In order for the City of Columbus to be held responsible for any damages you may have suffered as a result of your vehicle hitting an uncovered storm drain, it must be proven that the City had received actual or constructive notice (i.e. the city should have known the condition existed) of the hazard and had failed to correct the hazard within a reasonable amount of time.  


"The City did not have any prior knowledge/any other complaints that this drain top was off of the inlet drain. With the above being known, we must respectfully deny your claim for damages against the City of Columbus." 


This is to notify the City of Columbus of the open drain inlet at Ninth Street and Main Street. Be veeeery careful that you take no tight U-turn at that corner, or take a left turn too close to the center isle between lanes, or God forbid that you should cross the street on foot and, while watching the traffic, step into the open drain inlet. After over a month, the drain inlet is still open.  


Deloris Belhumeur 





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