Almost four years ago, a young drunk driver slammed into Dominic Heiston’s car with his brother Dylan in the backseat. Dylan did not survive.
“A lot of people think they’re invincible and I don’t want anyone to go through what I did,” Heiston said. “19 years old, I did not think I would be seeing my 16-year-old brother’s dead body in the back of a car.”
Now at 22, Heiston wants to use his experience to talk with other drivers who he says are driving recklessly in the Golden Gate Estates. From speeding, to switching lanes aggressively, to playing loud music and using cell phones, he says they just don’t think anything will go wrong.
“I want them to know that’s not right—that’s not the right mentality to have,” Heiston said.
He says a bigger police presence could help deter the danger.
“I grew up with firefighters and policemen and teachers, the whole nine yards, and I’m respectful towards them, but we have to figure out a way to get more resources out here,” Heiston said.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office says the Estates district is broken down into five zones. One deputy is always assigned in each.
“Honk at you, ride your bumper, it’s ridiculous—totally ridiculous,” said neighbor Tim Stern.
Stern also lives in the Estates and says they could use more police cars and eyes on the roads.
“I don’t even feel safe doing the speed limit out here because they try to run you over,” Stern said.