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Residents sound off on south Forsyth intersection where man died in accident
FCN Siriam Sundaram GoFundMe 012119
From a GoFundMe.org account organized to support Siriam Sundaram's surviving family.

After the recent death of a south Forsyth man on Peachtree Parkway, several friends and neighbors requested Forsyth County Commissioners look at adding safety measures at the intersection of Peachtree Parkway and Callaway Court.

At a recent meeting of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, eight residents spoke during a public comments portion of the meeting about why they felt improvements should be made after Siriam Sundaram was killed in a two-car wreck at the intersection in January.

“In light of the recent accident and fatality, we residents of [The Cottages at Greystone on Callaway Court] are living in fear right now, the fear of not knowing if our family members are crossing this intersection, entering and exiting because of multiple yieldings and multiple bottlenecks at this particular intersection,” said Sudhir Giduthuri. “All the regulations at this intersection are perfectly legal, but still there are so many yielding confusions, giving the right of way and all.”

Since the accident, nearby residents have pushed for changes to the intersection.

Georgia Department of Transportation records obtained by the FCN show that between 2011 and 2018, 14 wrecks occurred at or around the Peachtree Parkway and Callaway Court intersection.

FCN Fatal Wreck 012019
Deputies and firefighters responded to the scene of a wreck between a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado and a 2012 Honda Civic at Peachtree Parkway and Callaway Court on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019. - photo by Ben Hendren

A GoFundMe campaign to support the Sundaram family earned more than $359,163 from 8,000 donors in just days following the wreck. The funds raised will be used by the family to return Sundaram’s body to his home, Chennai, India and help them restart their lives there.

“Siriam was on a work visa, so this pulled his family not only into tremendous grief but also under extreme pressure to kind of wind up their entire family and relocate to India in a matter of a few days,” said Sai Krishnan Natesan.

Natesan said he was a friend of Sundaram and felt this would not be the last fatal accident at the intersection.

Several of the meeting’s speakers expressed their own concerns with driving on the road.

“There is an Indian grocery store in that complex where you take the left at the intersection. My family frequents there often because it sells many of the things that we use as part of our culture and lifestyle,” said Ahshaya Dhandopain, a sixth-grade student at South Forsyth Middle School. “One day, my mom was taking a turn to that intersection to buy things from the store. She said that she dreads having to navigate four lanes to take the turn.”

Intersection_.jpg
- photo by Ben Hendren

As the road is under the Georgia Department of Transportation and the item was not part of the evening’s agenda, it was not discussed by commissioners at the meeting.

Still, more than 3,500 people have signed an online petition asking for officials to look at the intersection.

“I go to the complex at Callaway Court and Peachtree Parkway intersection on a weekly basis with Cherians being my main grocery store and I access the other businesses over there on a frequent basis,” said Ponni Chinmannithu, author of the petition. “The recent tragic accident happened to a couple at the mentioned intersection where Siriam lost his life. That made a deep impression on me, and as anyone else, I could imagine myself in that situation. That’s when I thought I should start a petition to have a proper safety manager at the intersection.”