Auto Accident Attorney Robert Alston Says Authorities Should Fix Safety Hazards On Pasco County Road

Law Firm Newswire



Zephyrhills, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 27, 2013 – The family of a Pasco County teenager killed in an auto accident last summer continues to press for improvements to the road where the accident occurred.

Courtney Little, 17, was killed on July 2, 2013 while southbound on Moon Lake Road near Bethwood Avenue in New Port Richey, Florida — a stretch of road with an extensive and well-documented history of accidents. Plans to expand and resurface the road have been pushed back due to budgetary constraints.

“Citizens want this hazardous stretch of road fixed,” said Zephyrhills auto accident attorney Robert Alston. “The families of those killed and injured there do not want others to suffer as they have.”

Moon Lake Road was wet the day Little was driving with her friend Kimberlee Markou, 16, in Little’s 2008 Chevrolet Aveo. At a curve in the road, Little lost control of the vehicle and crossed into oncoming traffic, where a Dodge pickup truck struck it on the passenger side. Both girls were pronounced dead at the scene.

Pasco County had planned to begin expansion of the road to four lanes with a median in 2006. Those plans have now been pushed back to 2026. Pasco County Administrator Michele Baker pointed to the defeat of a proposed five-cent increase in gasoline taxes as a key reason for postponement.

Mike Gilmore, Little’s stepfather, called the postponement to 2026 “inexcusable,” saying that the family wanted the road fixed for the safety of the community.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) performed a Road Safety Audit on the road from 2010 through 2012. The report showed two fatalities and 51 injuries due to auto accidents during the three-year period. It also cited wheel ruts in the road surface, which allow water to pool, creating a hydroplaning hazard.

Another recent accident illustrates the danger of the particular bend of Moon Lake Road where Little and Markou died. Like the accident that killed the two girls, this one occurred on a rainy day. A southbound driver lost control, crossing the northbound lane and veering off the road at the very spot where Little’s car was hit. The car struck the plastic cross that Little’s father had erected to honor the two girls. That driver avoided oncoming traffic and survived the accident.

In October 2013, larger signs with enhanced visibility were erected to alert drivers to the curve in the road. Baker said additional signs and warning flashers may be added in the near future.