Traffic Island Scare - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Traffic Island Scare

Posted: Updated:

A Lynn Haven driver had a bad experience recently with a section of road near the Hathaway Bridge.  When News 13 got word of what happened, we decided to take a closer look.  Details in this Problem Solver report.

On a Friday afternoon recently, Heath Dennison was traveling Thomas Drive toward the Hathaway Bridge.  He tells News 13, "It was raining that whole entire week…so the roads were wet...kinda hard to see."

And raining it was…the day after the July 4th deluge.  As Heath approached traffic islands in his Toyota Solara to access the bridge lane headed east.  That's when it happened.  According to Dennison, "Car started sliding little bit couldn't really see much."  He says he slide right into a traffic island.  Dennison says, "The back axle bent all the way in so i couldn't even drive the car…I had to call a tow truck to come and get me and take me home.  When people would stop and ask if I was okay and everything…they said they had seen plenty of cars that day..they said they saw a truck clear the entire thing.  I am in a car so I'm too low to the ground to clear it."

Looking closer, you can see the tire marks and gashes into the concrete apparently from other vehicles previously running into the island.

So what can be done to help this issue?  Nearby, these other islands and medians have a smoother edge to them.  Could the same be done to alter this island?  To aid visibility in heavy rain possibly installing delineator posts like this one might be a big help.

Heath Dennison won't forget his experience.  He says the accident, "jerked the whole car and I was freaking out not knowing what happened.  I am a pretty safe and cautious driver so I wasn't expecting it."

I spoke with Florida Department of Transportation spokesman Ian Satter.  He says the area of those traffic islands is being studied by FDOT to determine what, if anything, can be done to make that turn area much safer as far as visibility and possibly more.  News 13 will let you know what happens.