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Improvements made to State Road 64 after two teens killed in Manatee County

A 17-year-old and 15-year-old killed on SR 64
Posted: 9:57 PM, Nov 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-17 04:14:50Z

BRADENTON, Fla. — Two fathers are fighting for change after their sons were killed in a crash on State Road 64 and Pope Road in September. 

17-year-old Chase Coyner and his passenger 15-year-old Matthew Powers were headed to homecoming. Troopers said Coyner made a left turn on Pope Road. He didn't see a truck traveling in the opposite direction. The two teens were killed. 

"He’d go out of his way to help people, great kid to the core. The world has lost two great people in Matthew and in Chase Coyner," said Dan Powers, Matthew's father. 

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Since the crash, transportation officials have shut down the left turn lane on State Road 64. Drivers can no longer make a left turn on Pope Road. 

"The way that intersection is designed, the turn lanes obstruct each other's views, if there are cars in both turn lane neither car can see oncoming traffic," explained Powers. 

Priscilla Trace, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners sent a letter to Florida Highway Patrol asking troopers for more speed enforcement on S.R. 64 and S.R. 70 in Manatee County.

"In September, two teenagers were tragically killed and a 12-year-old seriously injured in an accident at State Road 64 and Pope Road. This past weekend a 30-year-old man was killed by a drunk driver on S.R. 64 near Verna Bethany Road, bringing the total at that dangerous intersection to nine during 2018 alone," wrote Trace in the letter.

The Florida Department of Transportation has long-term fixes planned to calm traffic in the high-speed areas of East Manatee. Powers said transportation officials plan to add a roundabout at the intersection where his son was killed. 

Powers said he's dedicated to fighting for improvements. He won't stop until he sees change.

"I am to make sure they didn’t die in vain, prevent somebody else from having to go through what we had to go through," said Powers. 

Both teens attended Lakewood Ranch High School.

The teens collided with a Dodge Ram. The driver was not hurt, but his 12-year-old passenger suffered critical injuries.