Two killed in Sarasota wrong-way crash on I-75; drivers question nearby intersection

SARASOTA, Fla -- It is a crash that took hours for Sarasota deputies to clean up.

"It is tragic," said Sally Tatro, a driver in the area. "It’s awful, it’s just awful. It shouldn’t of happened."

The Florida Highway Patrol reports two men died after one went the wrong way on I-75 and hit the other driver head on. Both cars went up in flames.

The crash is still under investigation, but troopers believe the driver got onto the highway at University Parkway, the same spot as the new diverging diamond interchange.

"It’s dark and at times more difficult to see so I could see him thinking did I passed it already or is this left, this must be the left," said Tatro. 

She is is used to driving the new design, the first-of-its-kind in Florida that is supposed to eliminate contact points between cars traveling in opposite directions and left turns crossing over traffic. The left turn lanes head towards I-75. 

But she says it can be challenging for people who are not used to it.

"I just felt it was confusing but I paid extra attention every time I went through it and when I sat at a red light, I studied it," said Tatro. "But, I had to do that to be aware of how it worked because it was confusing."

Other drivers say it is self explanatory.

"I think it works because seems like it’s easy to get on and get off," said Jill McCoy, who loves the new design. 

There are two "Do Not Enter" igns at the exit ramps and a "No Left Turn" sign, but some drivers say flashing signs may be even better.

"They should definitely go back to the drawing board on this and take a look at it see how they can improve it so we don’t have any future fatal accidents like that or at least minimize the risk of that," said Tatro.
 

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