Deadly intersection in Flagler to get roundabout, despite calls for traffic light

By Brittany Jones, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017, 9:58 PM EST

The Florida Department of Transportation is planning to install a roundabout near a deadly intersection in Flagler County.

  • FDOT to install roundabout at dangerous Flagler intersection
  • More than 200 crashes at intersection in past 3 years, sheriff says
  • Locals say they think a traffic light would be more effective

But people in the area say that won't be enough to stop the accidents.

"Right in front of me, bam, pow, crash," said Tony Smigieleski.

U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Highway is a busy intersection in Flagler County, and it's also where Smigieleski has seen many people killed.

"Anybody trying to cross that road ... it's dangerous because you've got these people coming this way, people going that way. It's a mess," Smigieleski said.

FDOT said Monday they couldn't say much, but a spokesperson said the current plan to fix the problem is to install a roundabout in the area.

The Flagler County Sheriff and Rep. Paul Renner recently sent letters to FDOT with concerns about driver safety at the intersection.

In November, a motorcyclist was killed. Back in February, five people were killed while crossing the intersection.

Smigieleski had just seen the five at a party the night before, and they were warned to avoid the intersection.

"That morning they had breakfast, I said goodbye to them and the people that they were staying with, then told them don't go across U.S. 1, take Old Dixie to 95,” Smigieleski said. “It's too dangerous. But I guess they thought they could make it across in time, and they didn’t. Now they’re dead."

A friend of the five victims killed at the intersection, whom they were visiting, said he was great friends with them for forty years. He said if they do not put a light at the intersection, people will continue to get killed.

Nine days after that crash, FDOT started making improvements. Crews repainted the pavement, added some signage and are moving forward with recommendations mentioned in a study on the area.

Crews were back out there working Monday morning.

Five thousand people signed a petition asking officials to put a traffic light at the intersection, according to a local business owner. She said more were collected from another local business owner with the same hopes of getting a light.

Right now, there's only a flashing light, and the sheriff said there have been more than 200 crashes at the intersection within the past three years.

He even proposes adding a dangerous intersection sign or changing the speed limit.

The sheriff said in his letter, a dozen more crashes have occurred the latter half of the year since August at the intersection.

FDOT said no timeline has been set for construction on the roundabout.