A 40-year-old Ormond Beach man lost his life in a single-vehicle car crash at the roundabout at U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Highway in the early hours of Wednesday (Sept. 14), the Florida Highway Patrol reports.
The crash took place just before 2 a.m. The man, who has not been identified, allegedly speed past a witness at 100 miles per hour, traveling north on U.S. 1 at the wheel of a 2003 BMW, failed to take note of the roundabout and crashed into it. The vehicle overturned and struck a tree, ejecting the victim, who was decapitated.
The witness at the scene reported the crash to authorities as Flagler County Sheriff’s units and the Flagler County Fire Department responded, and soon pronounced the victim deceased there. In keeping with its new policy of withholding names under a misinterpretation of Marsy’s Law, the Florida Highway Patrol has not identified the victim.
U.S. 1 was hut down for a period in the early hours of Wednesday.
The fatal crash was the first at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Highway since February 7, 2017, when what was at the time one of Flagler County’s most dangerous intersections claimed the lives of five people in a three-vehicle crash. That crash was one of the deciding factors in the Florida Department of Transportation’s decision to build one of two roundabouts on U.S. 1, at that location and at the intersection with Matanzas Woods, where several crashes had also resulted in fatalities. Local residents were largely opposed to roundabouts.
The Old Dixie roundabout was completed in 2020. Until Wednesday, there had been no fatal crashes there since construction, or severe crashes, with one exception: in March 2019, the layout of the narrow construction-zone lanes north of the roundabout was the site of a three-vehicle crash when one vehicle jumped the lane divider and crashed into oncoming traffic. Several people were injured, but there were no fatalities. The Matanzas Woods-U.S. 1 roundabout has been free of severe or fatal crashes since completion.
Roundabouts don’t end crashes. But they are proven to reduce fatal crashes by 90 percent, according to the Florida Department of Transportation and reduce the incidence of injuries by 75 percent by reducing severe crashes, wit added environmental benefits.
The 40-year-old man’s death in Wednesday’s crash is the 17th fatality of the year on Flagler County roads.