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FDOT plans changes at Vero Beach intersection where crash claimed life of college rower

Posted at 3:22 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 18:43:56-05

VERO BEACH, Fla.  — In the wake of a crash last month in Vero Beach that claimed the life of a college rower, the Florida Department of Transportation is planning changes to an intersection in Indian River County.

FDOT presented its ideas Wednesday before the county’s Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The plan is to add new traffic signals in the coming weeks where Indian River Boulevard and the Merrill Barber Bridge meet.

The main signal will have a flashing yellow arrow to warn southbound drivers before turning onto the bridge.

“It probably better communicates to a motorist that wants to turn left permissively, that they have to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic,” said FDOT traffic engineer Mark Plass.

On Jan. 15, Grace Rett, a member of the College of the Holy Cross women’s crew team, died when the van she was riding in was struck.


The van driver, a crew team coach, was cited for not yielding the right of way.

Beyond the new traffic lights, the state also plans to add electronic speed feedback signs.

The speed limit in the area is 45 mph, but studies show most drivers exceed that speed.