Neighbors want safety improvements after North Fort Myers fatal crash

A multi-car crash that left a woman dead along a stretch of road in North Fort Myers has some wanting safety improvements. The roadway has already been the site of 10 crashes in 2019. And we spoke to neighbors who say they feel unsafe driving in the area.

The five-car crash that killed 72-year-old Carolyn Erwin on NE Pine Island Road near the intersection with Barrett Road Sunday has people wondering if a streetlight would help at the intersection currently without one.

“It’s too dangerous. It scares me,” said Tiffany Acuff, who lives on Barrett Road. “People won’t slow down at all … so I definitely make sure I go the long way.”

Although the weekend wreck appears to be a chain-reaction crash, law enforcement officials say there are other dangers on the roadway.

“Very dangerous intersection,” said Master Sgt. Patrick O’Grady with Cape Coral Police Department. “You’re trying to cross four lanes of travel plus the center median, and that road is very busy.”

Robert Trevino lives nearby Barrett Rd. and Pine Island Rd. He said his wife was involved in a crash while trying to travel across the busy intersection.

“She was trying to cut across through traffic,” Trevino said. “And a light not being there, you have to pull like in between two cars when they’re coming, when you think you have a safe distance, and you don’t.”

Those who are concerned want to know if another traffic light might make the area safer. Florida Department of Transportation installed a light at the intersection down the road with NE 24th Avenue about one year ago.

“I think the light would help,” Trevino said. “It’s a busy intersection.”

FDOT said traffic lights are not meant to improve safety but control traffic and allow access from side streets. And Barrett Rd. Does not have enough traffic on it to qualify for a streetlight.

Although the total number of incidents at NE 24th Avenue is on pace to increase this year, CCPD said the light help cut down the amount of fatal crashes and others involving critical injuries occurring there.

“It seemed like a lot of accidents wasn’t happening then to where when they put the light in it’s still hectic,” Trevino said.

MORE: Victim named in fatal North Fort Myers Crash on NE Pine Island Rd

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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