Stop signs to be placed on road where teen was hit

Dayanna Gil killed after hit and run

Changes are coming to a Treasure Coast road where a high school senior was hit and later died as she walked to her bus stop last spring.

 

Dayanna Gil's presence is everywhere in her stepfather's home. There are signs showing her love for Hello Kitty, and a wrapped fortune cookie sitting on top of the sash Gil would have worn had she lived to get her high school diploma.

 

Stepfather Gustavo Arzuaga says Gil would always steal his fortune cookies.

 

"I'm still looking for an explanation. It's still just really hard," said Arzuaga, looking at a framed picture of Gil hanging on the wall.

 

Arzuaga can't believe it's been more than three months since his stepdaughter has been gone. Gil's cremated remains were brought back to her homeland of Colombia last week.

 

"She did mention to us that if anything God forbid would happen, she wanted to go back to her country," said Arzuaga.

 

Investigators say Dayanna Gil was hit by a car driven by Ivette Nieves-Barsuglia, who lived just down the street from the crash site.

 

Now, after much public outcry, the city of Port St. Lucie is making some changes to Lucero Drive.

 

"I think it's great news," said Ed Verschueren.

 

Verschueren is reminded of the tragedy every day. It happened in his front yard. He has spent the past few months working with the city so he can enjoy his neighborhood again.

 

"You can walk up and down the street rather than look over your shoulder and make sure a car isn't going to come down speeding," said Verschueren.

 

The city did a traffic study and determined that speed and volume did not warrant added stop signs at two locations, SW Lucero and SW Friar and at SW Lucero and SW Hibiscus. However, it was determined that with 70 to 80 kids heading to six neighborhood bus stops, a stop sign would be placed at SW Lucero and SW Granadeer.

 

"Using those 6 stops were 22 school buses in the morning and afternoon so you're getting 44 trips a day out there," said Transportation Engineer Heath Stocton, who said the new stop sign is coming at the direction of the City Manager.

 

Arzuaga, who wears some of Dayanna's ashes on his wrist, says a new stop sign is a new beginning. 

 

"Not just me, the rest of the community is going to appreciate it just to have a little more safety," said Arzuaga.

 

Electronic billboards should be in place by the end of this week or next to let residents and drivers know that those new stop signs should be in place before the beginning of the school year. 

 

 


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