Deadly intersection to get traffic study | News

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Deadly intersection to get traffic study
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- "We see quite a few crashes," St. Augustine firefighter Joshua Mekenzie explained.

From Fire Station #2 at the intersection of Anastasia Boulevard and Red Cox Drive, he has a front row seat to the crashes that happen at and near that intersection.

"There have been several accidents where we've been on the scene before we even were paged or called," he recalled.

Mekenzie has even been in the building when cars have slammed into it.

"It's kind of scary at first," he nodded. "You don't know what to do at first. You hear the accident and it's definitely a shock."

Mekenzie estimates there have been at least 20 crashes there in the last three years.

Hamilton Upchurch Park -- a skate park - is often full of children. It also sits near that intersection.

The intersection itself is right where Anastasia Boulevard/A1A curves.

St. Augustine City Manager John Regan said "When people  get a high rate of speed [approaching the curve], they can lose control."

The last crash here was on Christmas.  Newlyweds Trevor and Jennifer Leonardi were killed when their pick-up truck hit a tree in front of the fire station.  Flowers now mark the spot.

Regan said four people have died at or near this intersection.  The fire station has been hit twice.

He said, "This is a curve we think should be designed and have additional safety barriers to prevent catastrophic accidents."

St. Augustine city commissions passed a resolution Monday to ask the Florida Department of Transportation for a traffic study and suggestions on making this intersection safer.

Regan pointed out that the goal is to create a safer environment, not just for drivers, but for children who play at the park and for people who work on this corner, like Mekenzie.

Mekenzie supports a traffic study. He said, "My life and the lives of my fellow firefighters and the citizens around here would definitely benefit from some stiffer precautions or extra safety measures put in place."

 

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