Last Updated: 4:17 p.m.
Cody’s Corner, the intersection of State Road 11 and County Road 304 in southwest Flagler County, was again the scene of a fatal crash Sunday afternoon as a 44-year-old woman lost her life in a t-bone collision.
The crash took place at 4:45 p.m. F.S.E., an Orlando pharmacist, was driving west on CR304 and had stopped her Toyota SUV at the stop sign with SR11, then pulled into the path of a Ford Mustang, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. An 82-year-old man was at the wheel of the Mustang, with a 79-year-old woman as passenger, both from The Villages.
The Mustang struck the SUV’s right side, causing the SUV to overturn onto the west shoulder of State Road 11. One of the vehicles took down a stop sign as a result of the collision. All vehicle occupants were wearing seat belts, according to FHP.
F.S.E. was pronounced deceased at the scene. Both the man and the woman in the mustang were seriously injured and transported by ground to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach. FHP is continuing the investigation.
Cody’s Corner remains one of the county’s deadliest intersections. It claimed a life on May 31 after nearly a identical collision, when Kristi Oliva Spaulding, 32, was in a t-bone crash with a vehicle driven by Oscar M. Garcia, 53. In that case, Spaulding was driving east on 304, Spaulding was driving north. Spaulding failed to stop at the stop sign, according to FHP’s crash report.
The state Department of Transportation had planned to build a roundabout there several years ago. It was designing it in April 2018. Then, citing vague reasons, the department gave up. It built roundabouts at U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Highway, and at U.S. 1 and Matanzas Woods Parkway, which had been the county’s other deadlier intersections. The two locations have been the scene of one fatality since: last September, Noah Gabriel Garlovsky, a 40-year-old Ormond Beach resident, “for unknown reasons” drove his BMW onto the roundabout as he drove north on U.S. 1, according to an FHP crash report, sending the car airborne before it overturned several times. The crash took place around midnight on Sept. 14.
Roundabouts drew public opposition in Flagler before they were built, but not since. Roundabouts are credited for drastically reducing (but not eliminating) severe and fatal crashes at intersections.
A DOT spokesman this morning said the agency would provide an update on the status of the roundabout, if any. Shortly after 3 p.m., DOT spokesperson Tim Freed wrote: “Safety is at the heart of every effort the Department undertakes. FDOT continues to pursue the goal of reaching zero fatalities and serious injuries on our facilities and there are many tools available to enhance safety for drivers and other road users. As with any project, the Department wants to evaluate all available options within the context of each individual community and situation. The Department is currently reviewing options to improve safety at this intersection and will work with Flagler County on next steps.”
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office this morning in a release said its data show a 75 percent increase in traffic fatalities on Flagler County roads this year, compared with last year, with 21 deaths from January 1 to September 31, compared with 12 during the same period last year. It documented three more fatalities so far in October, including Sunday’s, for a total of 24.
This spike in traffic deaths comes despite a slight decrease in reported traffic crashes in the county: 2,349 accidents so far this year, compared to 2,361 last year.
“This trend concerns me greatly,” Sheriff Rick Staly is quoted as saying in the release. “These deaths didn’t have to happen. I can’t stress that enough. Safety should be the main priority when you’re driving, not speeding or thinking it’s OK to drive after a few drinks or looking at your phone or any other kind of distraction that keeps your attention off the road. If we all embrace safe behavior while behind the wheel, we can reverse this trend and prevent future tragedies.”
The Sheriff’s Office as a result is conducting a special version of Operation DRIVE (Distracted & Reckless Intersection Violation Enforcement) prior Halloween. The one-day county-wide traffic safety operation will take place Tuesday (Oct. 25) in coordination with
the Florida Highway Patrol, the Flagler Beach Police Department and the Bunnell Police Department. To bring extra attention to this month’s enforcement, education and awareness effort, a Flagler County sheriff’s deputy will wear a Halloween costume while doing speed checks at intersections where crashes are most frequent, with particular attention to the following:
• Old Kings Road & Palm Coast Parkway
• Palm Coast Parkway & Cypress Point Parkway
• Belle Terre Parkway & Palm Coast Parkway
• Belle Terre Parkway & East State Road 100
Operation DRIVE is normally done once a month. The goal is to enhance the safety on all roadways in Flagler County by focusing on distracted driving and reckless driving in high-traffic areas, ultimately providing a safer travel environment for those in vehicles as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.
With this month’s operation taking place close to Halloween and during National Pedestrian Safety Month, Staly says there will be a bigger focus on pedestrian safety. “Walking around getting candy is always fun but having more people than normal on foot in the streets does increase the risks of traffic and pedestrian collisions,” he said. “That’s why we give this friendly reminder to be extra cautious in areas with heavy foot traffic, including school zones. Don’t speed and don’t drive drunk or distracted. Pay attention while behind the wheel!”
Very sad. When will people realize that drivers can’t be trusted to slow down. If the corner has claimed even one life it should be in the forefront of planning. Slow down people and look thrice.
When a location like this one has already been identified as a very dangerous intersection four years ago, why hasn’t the county or the state installed some type of enhanced controls? Either a roundabout or flashing red, 4-way stop signs would be appropriate considering all of the many fatal collisions that have occurred at Cody’s Corner. Something needs to be done sooner rather than later. Even though it is certainly every driver’s responsibility to drive safely and be cautious at crossings like this one, the deadly history or this location warrants enhanced traffic controls.
Bob Gore says
There’s plenty of warning on 304 that indicates there’s a stop sign and stop coming up. There’s ridges in the rode coming up to 11. People just need to pay attention of what’s going on around them.
There is a flasing stop sign when eastbound on CR304.
Traditionally, it takes four deaths for the Department of Transportation to make changes at an intersection. I know there’s been at least 15-20 deaths here in the past 20 years. They won’t do anything because the just don’t care. I feel bad for the next victims.
America First 81 says
Try contracting our “Missing War Hero” Congressman Mikie Waldo to get Federal Funds( our Taxes Paid to IRS ) to make this intersection safer! Other Representatives get Federal Funds for their Districts! Ask WHY Rep Kat Cammack has Town Hall Meetings, Yet
Our “War Hero” does NOT have Town Hall Meetings! He was even AFRAID to Debate Charles Davis during the primary! WHY??
The Sheriff’s Office is 100% right, people need to obey the speed limits, use signals, no phones or distractions and at stop signs & traffic lights, look both ways repeatedly for on coming vehicles, I always assume cars are going faster than speed limits before a turn.
These accidents are just so sad. :(
Why can’t they put up traffic lights at Cody’s corner, or is that to simple for the county to figure out?
It’s the state’s responsibility, or irresponsibility in this case. But county officials are equally at fault for not using their pulpits to pressure DOT into building the roundabout, as they easily could. Instead, some are on record opposing roundabouts.
Scott Batson says
Roundabouts are proven safer than signals.
C. J. says
Round abouts are a waste of money. All will end up being replaced by Red light intersections based on the rapid population growth in our county. Do it RIGHT the first time! Round abouts only guarantee additional accidents as I see increased speeds being displayed every time I am forced to go through one.
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Wonder why this “dangerous intersection ” isn’t posted as such with signage.
Also not on the list in this article for enhanced enforcement.
Enforcement at this location is non existing
Concerned Citizen says
Regardless of facts posted. I have seen numerous close calls in our round-a-bouts. And before you correct me I’m a 30 year public safety professional with numerous driving courses like EVOC etc. And have to transit these round-a-bouts on a daily basis. I cringe every time I go thru.
C.J. is correct. A good number of people approach the round-a-bouts and do not slow down until it’s absolutely necessary. And are still on phones and other devices.
What a round about will do is put you in closer proximity with an unsafe driver. In the case of large truck entering at the same time don’t swerve for anything. Because you will end up in a collision . A good many of drivers were disrespectful before. And I see no change now.
Yes the state needs to do something to make this area safe. But it boils down to respect and personal accountability.
Roy Longo says
Regardless of the number of close calls, the fatalities are all but down to zero. That is the intent of a roundabout. There was one fatality where the roundabout had nothing to do with it.
Scott Batson says
Modern roundabouts operate in the 15-20 mph range, so being closer to poor drivers is much less unsafe than when the through road can still go 50 mph unimpeded.
Timothy Patrick Welch says
Just went through there on Saturday for the Saw Fest at Pioneer Village. Roundabouts, or traffic lights or at lease make it a 4-way stop could help. And clear brush way from the stop signs. Country folk seem to travel fast on these roads.
I guess Staly will put in for 20 more deputies!!!!
The ORIGINAL land of no turn signals says
This is not a dangerous intersection.I been through there a 100 times,rumble strips,Multiple signs,blinking signs,what’s next a school crossing guard?Learn how to drive and use common sense and put the dam phone down.
Scott Batson says
People dying says otherwise.
Lance Carroll says
Traffic light makes sense to me. Locals are well aware of the history of this intersection. I don’t know the percentage of non local people involved in collisions at this intersection….. I’d have to guess very high percentage are not local folks. I also have to note that there are many vehicles travelling well over the speed limit on SR11, constantly.
Scott Batson says
Signals are proven less safe than roundabouts, and less efficient.
Buffalo bob Collet says
That is an intersection with a clear view in all directions. Accidents there are caused by bad drivers not paying attention. This driver did not pay attention and did something stupid. It is not the responsibility of the county or the state to control people who willfully violate the law. No accidents here are necessary if people would just pay attention.
Scott Batson says
People will forever make mistakes. Wishing it different does nothing. Roundabouts are a proven safety countermeasure. Even safer than signals
2 things 1st.joe biden should be arrested 2nd put up a traffic light in stead of giving Ukraine all are money.
The ORIGINAL land of no turn signals says
Joe gave me the biggest chuckle of the day.Thanks Joe
David Schaefer says
Joe your an ass.
The county (?) Has now installed red lights on top of the stop signs on 304
To bad it took so long.
Now maybe the state will do something on Rt 11 ?
A round about will put the local corner store out of business due to proximity of the building to the expanded intersection just like the White Eagle
Not true. White eagle closed years before the roundabout construction even started.
Joe if Biden should be arrested then Trump and his family should be in prison for eternity. People should be careful and pay attention at traffic circles. Traffic circles are as safe as people are. When signs and speed limits are ignored we can expect bad results. If the state never do anything about that intersection we as drivers should follow the speed limits and pay attention to the posted signs. It is sad a life is lost again at that intersection. People please be careful out there.
Jim Jones says
when they tried fixing this problem years ago with the roundabout option, the Cody family raised hell and nothing was done because of them. More lives will be lost at this intersection until a roundabout is installed.