BRADENTON, Fla. — For the past six months, two grieving fathers have fought to make the intersection where their teenage sons tragically died safer.
Their push for change is finally getting results. On Tuesday, FDOT held a public hearing outlining the details of their plan to build a roundabout at the intersection of Pope Road and S.R. 64.
“It saves lives, that’s the bottom line it is a dramatic safety improvement,” Brian Rick with FDOT said.
Construction on the roundabout will begin in the summer of 2020, the $2.4 million project is slated for completion in the Fall of 2021. That is three years ahead of their original plan.
"It’s been very difficult,” Scott Coyner said. "Every day, drive by it every day.”
It was Saturday, Sept. 15, when Coyner’s son Chase, 17, was driving a friend named Matt Powers to homecoming. Chase made a left turn from SR 64 onto Pope Road and got hit by an oncoming vehicle. In an instant, the lives of two families and a community changed.
“Chase was a car guy, hunted and fished with me a lot, we were very close. He and I were like best friends, he just loved life,” Coyner said.
Coyner doesn’t want another family to feel the pain and loss of what he’s going through.
Since the crash, Coyner teamed up with Powers’ father, Dan. Both advocated to make all roads in Manatee County safer.
"That’s the whole goal from the start,” Coyner said. “Dan Powers and I have said our whole mission in this is to keep other people safe. We don’t want anybody else to go through this. It is the worst thing that could ever happen to a parent.”
“If it’s for the good of the community and it keeps people safe, it’s worth it. It’s worth saving lives,” Coyner said.