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Deadly Parrish intersection gets 4-way traffic signal after neighbors demand action

Two people have died at Parrish intersection in the last year
Posted at 4:48 PM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 18:23:33-04

PARRISH, Fla. -- Big changes are coming to a deadly intersection in Parrish where two people have died over the last year.

The county and FDOT have agreed to put in a four-way light at the intersection of County Road 675 and U.S. 301, which neighbors are certain will save lives.

“We’ve just got accustomed to hearing horns, hearing breaks lock up and the occasional sound of metal on metal,” said Pastor Chris Schmidt whose church is located at the corner.

We recently highlighted the dangerous intersection as part of our mission to Drive Tampa Bay Forward.

DRIVING TAMPA BAY FORWARD | Latest headlines on safety and infrastructure in our area

“We’ve had a lot of serious crashes,” said Gretchen Fowler, President Parrish Civic Association.

If you stand at the corner of County Road 675 and U.S. 301, you’ll see lots of big trucks and plenty of speeders.

“When you try and pull out into the intersection, you can’t see where anybody is coming from,” Fowler said.

Ashley Rhodes, a 22-year-old vet tech, died in a crash in the area almost a year ago. Dr. Kenneth Bauer died in April of last year killed by drunk driver who crashed into his motorcycle.

“We like to call it the Wild West because as you see behind us, as the cars go by, there’s really no regulation of the speed,” said Parrish Fire Chief Stacey Bailey.

Forty-four crashes have happened here since 2014 and four of them have been fatal, according to FDOT.

“There’s a lot of kids. There’s a high school right down the road and an elementary school opening up right down the road,” Fowler said.

We found FDOT survey crews working here this afternoon.

Right now, there’s no timeline for the signal but neighbors want to see it come sooner rather than later.

“When you start looking at the overall picture of the improvements, this is a small improvement but it’s going to make a big impact,” Fowler said.