Improvements coming to dangerous Charlotte County road

There’s been an increase in deadly crashes along one Southwest Florida road, and improvements are in the works to make it safer.

Firefighters say they’re getting more calls along SR-31 in Charlotte County.

For Tyler Boalton, the dangers are personal.

“We had a buddy that got in a motorcycle accident, used to work for the company I worked for now. His name is Brandon Benson, and he passed away.”

SR-31 is notorious for crashes and for speeding. A woman and an 11-year-old boy died following a crash on the road two weeks ago at the intersection of Little Farm Road.

Two days later, Charlotte County deputies arrested a man for going 125 mph – 65 mph over the speed limit. They also found drugs in his car.

“Getting anywhere in a hurry isn’t worth your life or anyone else’s life,” Boalton said.

Lt. Matthew Jesse with Charlotte County Fire & EMS said they have seen an influx of calls, and it’s one reason why they added an ambulance to Babcock Ranch this year. With more homes and a shopping center going in along SR-31, it’s only going to get busier.

The Florida Department of Transportation just wrapped up a study to widen a stretch of the road.

“There’s no shoulder either. So if an incident does occur, and you’re in an emergency situation, there’s nowhere to pull over,” Jesse said.

“Widening the road will definitely help.”

Until that happens, Boalton doesn’t want to bury another friend.

“Slow down. Care, care about yourself, care about other people,” he said.

Charlotte County Fire & EMS is working with Babcock Ranch to add a permanent fire station closer to the community.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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