POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — People who work at an intersection in Polk County’s fastest growing area say they avoid the crossing to go home.

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen so many accidents, I’m scared. I go all the way around to the 7-Eleven. I get on that traffic light then I come around that way. I go all the way around every time I go home,” said Mustafa Mustafa, who warns his employees to do the same.

Mustafa owns four Dunkin’ Donuts franchise restaurants, including one at the corner of U.S. Highway 27 and South Boulevard on the Haines City-Davenport line, which he has ran for the last ten years.

At 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Florida Highway Patrol said a car being driven by a 24-year old male from Winter Haven struck a pedestrian who was crossing that intersection. The 32-year old man died from his injuries.

This follows other fatalities at this intersection in December 2019 and March 2022.

“I would like to see some kind of a red light, or maybe a blinking yellow light. Something to slow people down,” said Mustafa.

R.J. Webb agrees. He is the manager at Webb’s Candy Factor, which shares a building with Mustafa’s Dunkin’ Donuts.

“Right here on South Boulevard and 27, we have a real problem. It is a very, very dangerous intersection and we need a red light here,” said Webb.

He is especially concerned about the growth and demographics of the area.

“We see way, way too many bad accidents. One block away we have Ridge Community High School. Especially with the students getting out, the young drivers, it’s just a very dangerous situation that needs attention,” said Webb.

In response to an inquiry from 8 On Your Side, the Florida Department of Transportation said a $3.45 million median modification project is under consideration but currently unfunded.

Source: Florida Department of Transportation

A trucking company across the street makes the project a little more “involved,” the spokesperson said, because the new design would require a “bulb out” to accommodate larger trucks.

“FDOT is very sorry to hear of the fatality. This intersection is not one that pedestrians are known to utilize. When the crash data and investigation information become available we will review it,” FDOT spokesperson Patricia Pichette wrote in a statement.