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New highway lights being installed at deadly St. Lucie County intersection

'The lives lost speak for themselves'
Posted at 12:23 AM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 00:23:47-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — One of St. Lucie County's more dangerous intersections is about to be a little bit safer.

The Florida Department of Transportation this month began work to add street lighting near the intersection of Okeechobee Road and Midway Road in St. Lucie County.

This comes after years of families urging the state to make the area safer.

Stewart Feketa's teen daughter, Santia Feketa, was in a car with her best friend, Britney Lee Poindexter, when a wrong-way driver hit them head-on, killing them in February 2018.

"It feels like it was yesterday," Feketa said. "That intersection has caused a lot of grief for a lot of families."

It is also where Aaron Beauchamp, 9, was killed in a school bus crash in 2012.

"The accidents speak for themselves. The lives lost speak for themselves," Feketa said.

Both deadly and non-deadly accidents have prompted pressure to make safety improvements along the roadway.

Since Britney and Santia's crash, some changes have been made.

"They put up some rumble strips and some wrong-way signs," Feketa noted.

There are also now flashing signs near the intersection, "which was a laugher because the day after they were put in, I saw an accident at that intersection," Feketa said.

Now, the FDOT is spending $255,000 to light up the dark roadway. Feketa said that might have saved his daughter nearly three years ago had a wrong-way driver been able to see the girls' car.

He still said the additional lighting is not enough. He also wants a signal added to the intersection in place of a stop sign, which he said too many drivers run through.

"I think ultimately what's going to save lives is putting a signal light there," Feketa said. "They can procrastinate and talk about engineering surveys. They don't have to walk by my daughter's bedroom every morning."

The lights are expected to be completed by the spring of 2021.