Neighbors push for traffic light after deadly Port Charlotte crash

Neighbors are pushing to add a traffic light at a busy intersection after three people were killed in a crash Tuesday.

Alban Bianco, 80, of Gotham, Maine, Raymond Lapointe, 82, of Lewiston, Mich., and Rebecca Hlavsa, 73, of Port Charlotte, were killed in the wreck while at the intersection of Gasparilla Road and Marathon Boulevard, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

“It’s a very dangerous intersection,” nearby resident Jim De Rienzo said. “To go across itm you take your life in your hands.”

The victims lived at the Village of Holiday Lakes Community on Loris Court and were attempting to make a left turn into the community when they were struck by an SUV.

More: 3 killed in Charlotte County crash

“All three of them were very well-known and very well-liked. They had a lot of good times left that aren’t going to happen now,” said Vickie Gibson, the community property manager.

Some concerned neighbors wrote to Charlotte County commissioners in April asking for a traffic light, but they were told a signal wasn’t required based on traffic studies. Neighbors argued the study took place out of season when there are fewer people in town.

“This is going to happen again, unfortunately, if we cannot get the county commissioners to listen to us,” Gibson said. “Busy season just started in January, nine days into busy season three people were killed there that didn’t have to die.”

The community plans to keep calling on the county to take into consideration the older demographic in the area. The goal is to prevent another tragedy from taking place.

“People are mad and they’re not going to quit,” Gibson said. “They’re not going to go away and forget about it, I promise you that.”

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