CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- The family of a teen killed crossing a busy Cape Coral intersection wants to know why the county has yet to install a traffic light.
It has been almost a year since Lee County Commissioners approved the construction of a light at intersection of Del Prado Boulevard and NE 3rd Terrace near Burton Memorial Park.
You can see that a small memorial still stands paying tribute to 13 year old Ryan Santos, who died crossing this intersection in 2010 on his way to the nearby park.
The pain is still present for Robin Pabst. She remembers the day Ryan Santos was killed like it was yesterday. "We were the first ones on the scene, his mother and I. And it's a horrible thing for anybody to see. I wouldn't wish that on anybody," she said.
Ever since Ryan's death, Pabst and the Santos family have fought for a light at this intersection. Last May, the Lee County commissioners approved their request. But almost a year later, and nothing has changed. "We fought for this. We fought for this. I went and got out petitions and everything to have this light here. I got quite a few petitions. They approved the light. so whats going on?? That's what we want to know!" Pabst said.
According to the Lee County Department of Transportation, routine paperwork is holding up the process. A spokesperson tells WINK News that the RaceTrac gas station has to request easements on the corner for construction, and needs to go before the board of county commissioners in order to do so.
At this time, that has not happened.
Pabst, acting as the family spokeswoman says, it's unacceptable. "A year? Just about a year? I don't think so. I think that's just a little bit too long for paperwork to be pushed around," she said. "It'd make Ryan happy. He'd smile. Knowing we're out there to protect other kids. And it's not just about him. its about protecting other kids."
In a statement, RaceTrac tells Wink News the process takes time:
"RaceTrac would like to thank the Cape Coral community for their patience as we have worked diligently for the past year with the city and county for necessary permits and approvals to bring a stoplight to the intersection in front of our location at 314 Del Prado Blvd N. At this time, we are in the final stages of receiving construction bids for this project.
We are pleased to further invest in the Cape Coral & Fort Myers community with three new locations opening soon, that will provide more than 15 employment opportunities at each store. We appreciate the support of the Cape Coral community and look forward to partnering with them in the future."
Last year, RaceTrac pledged to spend almost $300,000 to bring a stoplight to the intersection.