Man who was killed at intersection where he requested traffic light remembered by friends

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Bob Shepherd is seen in a picture was taken Wednesday night at a dinner honoring Eckerd College's Academy of Senior Professionals. He was in a suit and smiling enjoying the company of his friends.

It was the last time anyone would see him alive.

Now a flag outside the Academy's building flies at half staff in his honor.

"This is the sort of tragedy that had been waiting to happen," said Jack Reed.

Reed and Shepherd were friends since the 1960's.

11 years ago, they were among several people in this area that pushed for a traffic light outside the college entrance.

"When one enters or exits Eckerd, you have five different things to look at," said Reed.

The request for a light was turned down. Reed says it's needed now, more than ever.

"All the programs on the college campus have grown a large new science center  that's going to be opening," said Reed.

St. Petersburg Police say Shepherd pulled in front of a pick-up truck while turning on to 54th Avenue South in front of Eckerd College. His car was hit and he later died at the hospital.

Shepherd lived in a condo complex across the street and traveled back and forth to the college daily.

Shepherd's wife Nena was not with him that night, but another couple was. Both were injured. They are expected to survive. Those in the pick-up truck weren't seriously injured.

"We report the facts of the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles, they have that information, and it's up to them to make determinations of whether or not a traffic light is needed at that location," said St. Pete Police spokesperson Mike Puetz.

Shepherd was a well educated worldly man. He was worked in military intelligence in Paris and London. He was also a former teacher who loved to talk about politics, food and wine.

Reed says he'll miss his intelligence, his humor and his infectious laugh.

"We are richer for him having been here, but we'll be poorer for his loss," said Reed.

A state road, 54th Street South is handled by the Florida Department of Transportation.  They say they've studied the area before and it did not meet the need for a traffic light.  But they will review it again.

Along with his wife of 54 years, Shepherd leaves behind two children and three grandchildren.

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