A Chevrolet pickup truck was headed west on U.S. 98 about 10:30 a.m. Monday morning when they approached the intersection with Citrus Way. At the same time, a box truck traveling south on Citrus Way was also approaching the intersection, which has a stop sign and flashing red light for north-south traffic. According to eyewitness accounts, the Chevy pickup began traveling through the intersection, and the approaching southbound semi-truck did not stop for the light or traffic signs. The semi essentially ran the pickup truck over, and it immediately burst into flames.
Eyewitnesses immediately stopped to help and emergency response personnel were en route to the scene of the accident, but the fire was burning too hot to help any of the occupants of the Chevy truck. Five males were in the pickup at the time of the accident. Authorities are trying to identify the men involved in order to notify their next of kin, and their identities are unknown at this time. The driver of the semi, along with his passenger were taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson. The driver was treated and released. His passenger had his spleen removed, and is expected to remain in the hospital for about a week.
For residents in the area, this scene is an all too familiar one. Between 2006 and 2009, there were 17 crashes at this intersection, which resulted in 33 serious injuries. The Florida Department of Transportation installed the flashing lights in 2007 in response to the number of accidents, but there have been 42 auto accidents on this very intersection since the flashing light were installed. Florida officials have indicated that the intersection is under review, but the volume of traffic and the number of accidents does not merit installing a controlled intersection.
The Florida Department of Transportation is responsible for ensuring the safety of Florida’s motorists, by designing safe interstate and highway systems, and installing the proper systems to control traffic flow. The men killed in this horrific accident leave behind their families and loved ones – lives cut short too soon. They were simply on their way to work and happened to be travelling through a known dangerous intersection. If you, or someone you love has been the victim of an accident that may have been due to the improper design of a highway intersection, contact us today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587).
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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