TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The family of a bicyclist killed on Bayshore Boulevard is speaking out about the recent investigation by the state attorney’s office and wants the city to make Bayshore safe again.
Hal Flowers’ family is devastated to lose a man who was loved by his kids, his family, and his friends. The man who killed him Justin Winterhalter won’t face charges, he too died in the crash.
Now his parents tell 8 On Your Side they want changes made to protect people on this iconic Tampa road.
“I think anytime you have an accident like this, you don’t want to believe it. It’s very difficult to believe it,” said his father, Hal Holmes.
The 50-year-old Tampa attorney and loving husband and father of four died that day.
“I’ll tell you we can’t go on like this. This is ridiculous,” said his father.
The investigation shows Winterhalter and two other motorcyclists were caught on video and by witnesses speeding. The report states Winterhalter took off doing a wheelie, hitting 100 mph before crashing into Flowers.
Hal’s father is speaking out about the tragedy for the first time. He tells 8 On Your Side the decision to not prosecute the two other motorcyclists by the state attorney is disappointing.
“When you get down to it there was a tragedy on Bayshore Blvd. There were witnesses, and there were videos, and no one is going to do anything about it,” said Hal.
“We are saddened when these tragedies happen. That is why the Mayor has deliberately focused on Vision Zero strategies,” said Vik Bihde, Director of Transportation and Stormwater Services for the City of Tampa.
The city says Vision Zero is “a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.”
The City of Tampa says their focus is stopping what they have found to be the cause of the latest fatal crashes; drivers speeding far beyond the posted speed limit.
Working to improve safety on Bayshore city officials say they are putting up new traffic signals and looking into speed activated cameras down the road to stop drivers that trigger the devices.
Speed cameras are illegal in Florida, but adding more flashing crosswalks is another deterrent.
“Something’s got to be done and it’s got to be something more than just putting up flashing lights,” said Hal.
The city says they actually don’t own Bayshore Blvd. the county does. They have limited resources to make big changes to this road that will have to come with collaboration with the county and other agencies.