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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022 5 months ago

Ocoee installs crosswalk at troubled intersection

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The change came 10 days after a child riding a bike was struck by a car. The hit-and-run incident was captured by a neighbor’s Ring camera.
by: Chris Martucci Sports Editor

While Ocoee Police Department officers still are searching for the suspect driver who hit a child Feb. 7 at Adair Street and Wurst Road, the city’s leadership wasted no time in making the intersection safer.

Two days after discussion regarding the intersection at the Feb. 15, Ocoee City Commission meeting, employees from Ocoee’s Public Works Department were building a crosswalk at the intersection.

The change comes 10 days after the hit-and-run incident. According to Ocoee police reports, at about 5:35 p.m. Feb. 7, the suspect driving a mid-2000s blue Toyota Corolla hit a child who was riding a bicycle on Wurst Road. The driver did not stop to render aid to the child or give any information. 

The incident was captured by a neighbor’s Ring camera.

The vehicle had a faded roof and possibly could have damage to the right front passenger side of the vehicle. A witness stated the driver may possibly have been a young male driver. The child was uninjured.

Ashley Wynn, the mother of the child, is thankful her child is OK but wants to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else. She suggested a three-way stop, crosswalks and a pedestrian signal could help combat the issue. 

“I know that the traffic is bad because some of the detours, but I want to know what can be done now,” Wynn said. “My kids have not gone out to ride bikes in the neighborhood since that event, they have not talked about riding bikes, and I don’t know when they’re going to want to. I don’t know if I can even say it’s safe to go out in our own community that we live in.”

Another resident, Irene Welch, said visibility is a problem at the intersection.

“The problem is (drivers) are allowed to park out in front of their houses, and (I) live right on the corner,” she said. “The people trying to get off Adair at busy times cannot see past the trunks. A lot of times, the traffic will not stop for children.” 

At the meeting, City Manager Robert Frank said the city has been collecting speed data and traffic counts. Police also have been monitoring the area.

“You all may have seen we had the police down there, and they wrote quite a few tickets,” he said. “We’re going to keep them there for a while to try and make a dent.”

Anyone with information about the driver in the incident should call officer Duane Hunt, (407) 554-7216.

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Chris Martucci is the sports editor for the West Orange Times & Observer,  Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. He holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism, as well as a bachelor's degree in...

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