MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WWSB) - Manatee County Commissioners are asking for the Florida’s Highway Patrol’s help after several fatal crashes in east Manatee County.
The Board of County Commissioners sent a letter to FHP Troop Commander John Baumann to increase patrols along State Road 64 and State Road 70, east of I-75.
“Please have your officers enforce the speed limits to slow traffic and avoid serious accidents,” the letter read.
Commissioners highlighted two crashes resulting in fatalities: one in September 2018 at the intersection of State Road 64 and Pope Road, which left two teens dead, and the other on State Road 70 near Verna Bethany Road, claiming the life of the 30-year-old in October 2018.
The Florida Department of Transportation made improvements at the 64/Pope Rd. intersections, and has long-term plans to “calm traffic” in the high-speed areas of Manatee County east of I-75.
“Something must be done to save lives and slow traffic before those roundabouts are constructed,” requested the BCC in the letter.
The Florida Highway Patrol will meet on Wednesday, November 14 to discuss the letter and ways to improve safety on SR 70 and 64. FHP FHP released a statement to ABC7, reading: “It is the mission of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to proactively protect the motorists traveling throughout the state while also being highly visible and upholding the agency values of Courtesy, Service and Protection. FHP and many other law enforcement agencies throughout Florida are dedicated to reducing the number of motor vehicle crashes and the associated loss of life and property due to unsafe driving behaviors on our highways. FHP troopers and our fellow law enforcement partners are committed to traffic safety and will continue to enforce speeding and aggressive driving along with other Florida laws. Although troopers enforce the laws of Florida and may issue citations that include a fine, it is also our mission to educate motorists in every interaction to encourage a positive change in driving behavior.”
Dan Powers, who lost his son in the 64/Pope Road crash, went before County Commissioners on October 9, and said, “one of the few things more heartbreaking to us than knowing our son died is knowing that this was preventable.”