On Slater Road in rural North Fort Myers, neighbors say witnessing serious car crashes is a pretty normal occurrence.
“We’ve seen wrecks, we’ve seen accidents, we’ve seen deaths, we’ve seen a lot of injuries on this road because of the traffic,” said neighbor Allen Walker.
On Saturday, it was no exception. A car flipped over coming around the curve in the road. Rachel Singletary was one of the first people on the scene.
“Another one. Here it is,” she said.
Neighbors in the area feel blindsided by a proposed new development, much like drivers coming around the bend in the road.
“You put that in there and it’s going to change everything,” said neighbor Robert Robitaille.
The proposed development would convert an empty field into a 300-unit complex, which many fear could make the road conditions even more dangerous.
“If it can happen now with us being rural, I cannot imagine what’s going to happen when these people try to get out of this development and turn out into a curve,” Singletary said.
But for Robitaille, the debate is personal. His daughter was almost killed in a serious car crash that involved a dump truck coming around the bend.
“I was in the house and I heard the big “ba-BOOM” because the truck flipped right over right in front of my house. And all I could do is run and hope I could see somebody. My grandson was in the backseat,” Robitaille said.
He and many of his neighbors are now hoping Lee County Commissioners reject the development in the interest of safety.
“It just so happened that this gentleman today was able to walk away, but some people aren’t going to be able to,” Robitaille said.
The commission is scheduled to discuss the development on Wednesday. The developer says they’re open to adding a turn lane to help with traffic flow, which neighbors say could save lives.