Families unite to dedicate memorial roundabout for teen boys killed in car wreck
MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Two Manatee County families are coming together not just to remember their lost sons, but to keep building their legacy.
The Coyner and Powers family was there for the dedication of the Chase Coyner and Matthew Powers Memorial Roundabout, a roundabout in Manatee County at the intersection of Pope Road and State Road 64. It’s here where teenagers Chase Coyner and Matthew Powers were tragically killed in a car wreck in 2018.
Standing in front of the newly dedicated sign is bittersweet for Chase’s father Scott Poyner.
“As Dan Powers often says, it’s sort of happy sad,” he said.
Sad because this is where these two families lost their sons, but happy because it’s now a place of remembrance and purpose.
The roundabout has been a joint project between the Florida Department of Transportation, Representative Tommy Gregory and Manatee County. Before the wreck, the state had already planned on creating a roundabout in this section of State Road 64 to curb traffic accidents. However, when Chase and Matthew were killed the state sped up its efforts and completed the project years ahead of schedule.
“I think it says that our system works,” Dan Powers, father of Matthew Powers, said. “Our representative system works. We brought our concerns to Representative Gregory and he took those concerns and ran with them.”
Now this place that has been a site of pain for the Coyner and Powers family is serving as a positive force in the community. Scott said when driver’s pass by the sign and see his son’s name he hopes they will think about the consequences of speeding and think twice before making any reckless decisions.
“It’s not just about the honor of having their name on a sign,” Scott said. “It means so much more than that. It’s very important to make people aware of the traffic safety.”
The Powers family feels the same way. They say it’s an honor that so many members of the community have rallied around them in the aftermath of their son’s death, and they hope this newly dedicated roundabout can be a powerful force for good to protect drivers on the road so other families don’t have to go through what they did.
“It reminds us what an impact Mathew had on the community,” Rebecca Powers, Matthew Powers’ mother, said. “Especially with this roundabout. That’s something we hope will save lives. What an impact that is, one you really can’t measure.”
This is one of several memorials dedicated to the boys.
Chase and Matthew are also memorialized at the Mustang Memorial Walk at Lakewood Ranch High School. Matthew is also honored with a memorial plaque at the Lakewood Ranch Little League Fields.
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