Our network

Stoplight to be installed where veteran was killed | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Stoplight to be installed where veteran was killed

Apollo Beach, Florida -- Changes were already in the works at a busy intersection where a good Samaritan, father, and husband was hit and killed in front of his wife on Saturday night.

32-year-old Chad Ries was trying to help people on the side of the road who were involved in a crash. The Florida Highway Patrol says it happened around 10:20 p.m. at U.S. Highway 41 and Mirabay Boulevard in Apollo Beach.

Troopers say Ries pulled over and was just getting out of his 2012 Volkswagen Routan to try to help some drivers when 22-year-old Angel Hernandez , who was driving a Ford pickup truck, hit Ries and Ries' car.

Ries' 28-year-old wife, Christen, was inside the car when it happened.

The crash happened in a heavily traveled area near the entrance of two large subdivisions where there are no street lights. There are four lanes of traffic and the speed limit is 55 miles per hour. Sidewalks line the communities where hundreds of people live and there's a shopping area within walking distance.

Kenneth Anderson drove through the intersection Monday and said, "We've been having a lot of accidents here."

On Monday, 10 News learned from Florida Department of Transportation spokesperson Kris Carson that a traffic light was already in the works for the intersection before the crash.

"Whenever a large community is built or a large developer comes in such as a neighborhood or a Walmart, we work with them and they're the ones responsible for doing the traffic studies and paying for the signal if it's justified."

Carson says FDOT has been working with Newland Communities developer which is more than half way finished with the design plan.

But she says putting in a traffic light won't necessarily mean an end to the accidents adding, "That's something that we look at in our traffic studies. We do know that when you put a signal in you automatically increase your rear end crashes. So when a signal is installed they'll put it in flash mode. We'll have signs up letting people know it's coming."

Anderson says, "It's sad that it takes a death to get people's attention to realize that this is needed." Vito Balacco adds, "So anything that's going to keep people safe coming in and out of the communities is going to be a good thing."

Carson says the light could be installed within a year.

Below is crash data compiled by FDOT of the intersection from 2011 through 2013 which shows eight T-bone crashes may have been prevented if a traffic light was installed :



Hillsborough County Deals

Hillsborough County Businesses