POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — After the second incident involving a car crashing into a home since June, county officials will investigate whether more safety measures need to be added on North Crystal Lake Drive.
“Somebody needs to take responsibility for it,” said Nicole Kenemuth.
In her nearly five years living on North Crystal Lake Drive, Kenemuth has seen her share of speeders.
“They sometimes forget to hit the brake and they’re never usually in their lane so they’re all over the place when they come around that corner,” she said.
Kenemuth lives two homes down from the residence at the intersection of North Crystal Lake Drive and Hester Drive, where the crash occurred around 2 a.m. Saturday.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Jared Seymour, 22, drove straight through the home, injuring a person inside. Seymour was arrested on a charge of leaving the scene of a crash.
It is not known at this time the speed he was driving or whether he was under the influence.
“I think there needs to be some type of either speed humps or maybe better signage to show curve,” said Kenemuth.
In June, a half mile away at the intersection of North Crystal Lake Drive and Longfellow Boulevard, a soccer player from Brazil named Yuri Dos Santos Vasconcelos was killed when a car crashed into his home.
“How many freak accidents on the same road are we going to have?” asked Robert Valoy, a roadside service provider in Lakeland.
“It’s curious. It’s coincidental,” said Bill Skelton, project management liaison for the Polk County Roads & Drainage division.
According to Skelton, there have been five crashes in five years on that stretch of North Crystal Lake Drive.
“We’ve certainly made efforts to make it a safer road. If there’s room for more improvements, we’ll certainly consider them,” said Skelton.
Skelton pointed out, the road already has signs alerting drivers to the curve, a signalized crosswalk and reflective markings.
“Less than 500 feet from the intersection, we have what’s referred to as a reverse turn sign and it flashes. That indicates and tries to communicate to the driver that there’s a turn in the road ahead,” said Skelton.
The road was designed more than half a century ago, Skelton said, so re-designing it would be close to impossible.
However, the county will now be investigating whether there are other safety measures that can be taken.
“People often request guardrails where there’s been crash history. I don’t know if this is a typical use for something like that but I suspect it will be given consideration,” he said. “We don’t want to clutter the roadways. We don’t want to confuse the driver. So we make our installations with public safety in mind.”