Wrecks spike, county acts on small intersection

Posted at 8:29 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 20:30:05-05

The intersection of Little Road and Grove Street in Pasco County is where a major thoroughfare and tiny residential road meet. The number of crashes spiked this year, with many caught on camera.

The images are jarring, violent high speed collisions caught on tape. Seconds after the wreck, the surveillance camera captures Jeromy Harding bolting for the crash.

In two of the wrecks, children were involved. Two suffered minor injuries but in another accident, two minors were airlifted to local hospitals.

Crashes like the one that killed a motorcyclist prompted Harding, the owner of Barrett Harding insurance, to install a surveillance camera aimed at Little road and Grove street.

In most cases the crash involves northbound vehicles making a left turn in front of fast moving traffic on Little Road. Harding told me he’s notified the county of the problem at least twice since 2011 and got no response.

Then he contacted us.

We pulled crash reports and found 13 accidents since 2011 with 8 of them taking place in 2015. One possible reason for the spike is that more traffic on the roads leads more drivers to use Grove Street as a cut through to avoid the red light ahead.

We started asking questions last November around the same time Traffic Operations Manager David Skrelunas announced a plan to protect drivers in this area.

A new curbing system will be put into place. Drivers will need to travel several hundred feet and make a left or a u-turn at the next intersection. It'll make it harder for customers to get to Harding's business, but he's more concerned that they arrive in one piece.

I checked in with the county this week, and they tell me the order has been submitted. Now it is just a matter of taking delivery of the new curbing that will prevent northbound drivers from making that dangerous left turn.