A 14-year-old girl riding her scooter to Timber Creek High School was hit by a car at an intersection known for its high number of crashes, renewing calls by residents for the county to make the intersection safer.
Video captured by HOA cameras showed the girl riding her scooter into the middle of the Timber Creek Boulevard and Avalon Park Boulevard intersection Monday morning while a Mazda was trying to turn left.
As the girl moved in front of the Mazda, the driver, seeing a break in traffic and apparently unaware of the girl, hit the gas pedal.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers said the girl was unhurt and the driver remained on scene. The crash remains under investigation.
“We’ve had so many accidents occur,” Mrynal D’Arcangelo, HOA president for the adjacent neighborhood, said. “So many incidences with a lot of our high school children.”
County staff said eight other crashes had been recorded at that intersection since November 2022, though residents said three alone happened in the last few weeks.
D’Arcangelo is among those fighting to get a traffic light installed. He said requests have been made for years, but the county initially turned the community down because not enough cars were using the intersection.
However, the county is finally working on installing a signal. Staff said they were in the process of acquiring the right of way for the pole to comply with regulations, and although Commissioner Maribel Gomez-Cordero requested the installation be expedited, faster progress isn’t possible.
They expected the land acquisition and the design phase to wrap up by December, with installation happening in 2025.
D’Arcangelo and others called the timetable disappointing. They said promises were made to install the light in 2024.
“This installation needs to happen immediately,” D’Arcangelo said. “The community needs to see progress.”
He and others said they’ve asked for a crossing guard or a deputy presence during times when Timber Creek students were going to and leaving school – particularly in the afternoon – but those requests were denied as well.
“It’s only a matter of time,” Carl Mullers said. “It’s just getting worse.”
Timber Creek students said they’d also appreciate assistance getting across the road. They said it was the one intersection they didn’t feel safe crossing – and a light would provide a needed break in traffic.
“It will make everything so much easier,” Elyani Dellolio said.