What is the most dangerous place you can drive? Is it poorly lit? Does it lack traffic lights or other indications of who has the right of way? Is it far enough from populous areas that there is seldom enough traffic to deter speeding? Are there objects or structures blocking drivers’ view of oncoming traffic? An intersection in St. Lucie County has almost all of those problems, and while it has taken some measures to correct them, residents say that more work is still needed. If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident on a famously dangerous area of the road, contact a South Florida car accident injury lawyer.
St. Lucie County’s Most Dangerous Intersection
The intersection of Midway Road and Okeechobee Road in western St. Lucie County is one of the most dangerous intersections in South Florida. Between 2014 and 2019, it was the site of 23 accidents, five of which involved fatalities. The turning point that made the county take seriously the dangers of the intersection was an accident in February 2018, in which three people died. Santia Feketa and Britney Poindexter, both high school seniors from Fort Pierce, were traveling eastbound on Okeechobee road when an RV driven by 98-year-old Walter Roney collided with their pickup truck; all three were killed in the collision. Roney had been driving westbound in the eastbound lane and collided with the girls’ vehicle head-on.
After the accident, the Florida Department of Transportation made the following improvements to the area, in order to prevent future crashes:
- Stop signs with LED lighting
- Raised pavement markers with white and yellow solar-powered lights
- Small red lights visible to motorists when they are driving the wrong way
In December 2019, the St. Lucie County Commission took over the improvement project from the FDOT. Work will start on the project in the summer of 2020, and the anticipated date of completion will be in the spring of 2021. Under the County’s direction, the installation of lighting and other markers will continue for a 750-foot stretch of Okeechobee Road and a 500-foot stretch of Midway Road. The plans also include the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection; for the past eight years, County Commissioner Frannie Hutchinson has been trying to secure state funding to install a traffic signal at the dangerous intersection. The project will also involve the removal of a pedestrian bridge near the intersection which is rarely used and which makes it difficult for drivers to see oncoming traffic as they approach the intersection.
Let Us Help You Today
The state and local governments are making much-needed improvements to an intersection that has been the site of multiple deadly accidents, but too often, these kinds of improvements do not take place until catastrophic accidents have already happened. If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident at a South Florida intersection with poor visibility, a personal injury lawsuit may be your best hope. Contact Palm Beach County car accident lawyers at Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers for a consultation.