On Monday morning, a driver was killed and his passenger was seriously injured in a crash along State Road 31, near Bermont Road, in Charlotte County.
Those who live near this area say they are tired of seeing crash after crash along this stretch of road.
WINK News has identified some key factors that make this an unsafe road. The first is that SR-31 is a single-lane road, the shoulders are tiny, and drivers often speed on this road. Another factor is the drivers will switch to the other lane when they want to pass a car.
A crash survivor told WINK News that that kind of recklessness nearly killed her. Monday’s crash is proof that something needs to be done to improve SR-31.
Terry Foster thinks about a crash that killed two people every single day. Luckily, she and her 12-year-old daughter survived. “I had a broken arm, broken ribs. My lung had collapsed. I had a head injury… I’m actually on disability now because of my lung issues,” said Foster. “so it still haunts me.”
Foster places the blame for her crash on speeding and single lanes on SR-31. A driver attempted to pass her but ended up colliding with her instead.
“Everybody’s trying to pass people and there’s no passing lanes,” Foster said. “So, I think they definitely need to do something.”
Lieutenant Matthew Jesse is with Charlotte County Fire and EMS. He says most of the calls he answers are along SR-31.
Monday’s crash claimed the life of a 30-year-old man. Crash investigators say that the driver swerved into the victim’s lane to avoid hitting a hog in the roadway.
Not far from Monday’s crash site, along SR-31, a woman and an 11-year-old died in June. “It’s not uncommon to see multiple accidents in the same day out here involving State Road 31 for sure,” said Jesse. “They could easily widen the roads a little bit. ”
A spokesperson with the Florida Department of Transportation told WINK News there are no plans to widen that road right now. The only improvement that could be upcoming is a roundabout at SR-31 and Bermont Road.
This isn’t good enough for Foster. “I just won’t take the road. I just, it’s dangerous,” she said.
The planned roundabout is currently in the design phase. Construction is not set to begin until 2025. In the meantime, Charlotte Fire and EMS says it will continue responding to those daily calls.