MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Dan Powers is hopeful a new construction project near his home on State Road 64 will save lives.
His son, Matt Powers, was killed on the road six months ago while making a left turn near Pope road. He was 15. His friend, Chase Coyner, was also killed in the crash. He was 17.
“Seems like every two to three weeks there is an accident out here," said Powers.
FDOT made temporary changes to the intersection following his son's crash. State crews closed the left turn lane onto SR-64 and they planned to install a roundabout to slow traffic down. Powers said FDOT was dragging their feet on the project because the roundabout’s completion date wasn’t set until 2023.
“My initial thought was my 11-year-old daughter will be driving by that time, that’s too long for the safety issues we have out here,” said Powers.
He petitioned the county and the state, and now crews will start the roundabout’s construction next summer.
“I’m thankful they are going to do it and reduce accidents of course, but it hurts that our son and his friend had to die to get this done,” Powers said.