There was nothing remarkable about the wreck at U.S. 1 and Royal Palms Parkway late this afternoon, other than it was the second wreck in five hours, four miles south of the the first on U.S. 1. Like the first, it involved two vehicles that were seriously damaged, in this case from a near-head-on collision. As with the first wreck, no one was seriously injured, with both drivers walking and conversing with cops at the scene. Neither needed transportation to a local hospital.
But there was this: the driver of the Chevrolet Impala that was knocked off its trajectory and into a ditch at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Royal Palms was Jason Lewis, the lanky 39-year-old assistant state attorney in R.J. Larizza’s office of the 7th Judicial Circuit. He appeared bewildered only to the extent that he escaped injuries, a possibly bruised chest aside, though he’d had to jump out of the car from the driver’s side window (the door would not open) as it seemed to be smoking, and he had to leave behind some of his snared footwear.
And the driver of the Nissan Altima that struck him was Lauren Mack, 26, of Palm Coast: she is the co-founder of The Well Written Woman, the local blog with a broad, national following.
According to Florida Highway Patrol investigators at the scene, Mack was driving south and was preparing to make a left onto Royal Palms, on a flashing yellow arrow. Her line of vision was somewhat impaired by a large truck in the opposite direction’s turning lane, the investigator said, basing the summary on very preliminary analysis. Mack began inching into the turn just as Lewis, driving north (he lives in St. Johns County) crossed the intersection.
The collision was violent, especially on the front-left of the Altima, reducing most of it to a crumple. The car ended up in the median. The Impala veered east into the shoulder and down the embankment, somehow missing a thick concrete utility pole that would have caused more serious damage, and likely injury, than did the embankment, though the front of the Impala was also smashed beyond recognition. A homicide investigator from the State Attorney’s Office (the sort that investigates murders, not traffic homicides) was at the scene, documenting the wreck, and helping Lewis unload the Impala of stacks of papers and folders.
The wreck briefly closed parts of the intersection, but traffic resumed swiftly as John’s Towing removed the wrecked vehicles: John Rogers, the owner of John’s Towing, who is also a Bunnell city commissioner, eyed the clock as he worked. He was due at his commission’s public hearing for the adoption of a new budget and tax rate by 6:30 p.m.
The Bunnell Fire Department, Palm Coast Fire Department and Flagler County Fire Rescue had responded to the scene, along with the sheriff’s office and the Palm Coast Fire Police. The wreck took place at 4:48 p.m.
Charlie Ericksen, Jr says
I think we are starting to see a pattern, with the fairly new left turn on flashing yellow intersections…Coming close to a fatal crash. Just how much thought went into the light, that is supposed to improve traffic flow. Bulldog/SR100 is next..
CrossTown Traffic says
Their insurance companies will square it away, they will become from friends and if neither is in relationship they’ll date get married and live happily forever after. It’s cool to see them stand there like professionals and adults after such a traumatic experience regardless of who’s fault it was.
I think the flashing light makes sense, BUT, maybe an explanatory sign up the road a ways would help drivers understand it better.
Glad no one was hurt.
Nancy N. says
I frequently get honked at using another intersection in town with a flashing yellow turn light for the left turn lane, because I refuse to pull out to turn if there is a car in the oncoming turn lane. It makes the turn completely blind, especially because of a slight curve in the road there. But being honked at won’t kill me and pulling out in front of speeding traffic will…so honk away. The guy sitting behind me may be suicidal but I’m not.
In some states they have mandatory Daylight. Head light use on certain stretches of hi way when risks are higher especially turning and merging where traffic is cruising 55 mph + this stretch from bunnel to old kings fits the bill on us1
Closely following a large vehicle through any intersection is dangerous and especially so if that large vehicle is making a turn. I always leave enough space to be seen by cars waiting to cross or join the lane. Bikers know this rule well.
When a vehicle pulls into the turn lane in the opposite direction it blocks your view of oncoming vehicles. I will always sit on the turn lane and wait for a green arrow. It is not woth risking an accident to be in a hurry.
An accident just like this happened 2 weeks ago where someone turned left at the yellow blinking light right into oncoming traffic. I travel this road every day and see people making turns on that blinking yellow light almost hitting oncoming traffic every day. Something needs to be done about these lights. Put them back to a solid green turn arrow and solid red light. Too many people seem to get confused on what the yellow light means. At the speeds cars are traveling on US 1 it’s a miracle nobody has been killed yet!
Of course people know what the yellow light means: step on the gas and hurry through before it turns red.
When you’re at a red light or (more importantly) a stop sign,
concentrate on what is in front of you – disregard the impatient
gasbags in your rear view mirror. Let them blow their horns.
(I can say something very distasteful now, but won’t)
Tailgaters? Let them do that “swerve thing” they do. Just look ahead
and at your side mirrors. You can’t help what’s behind you. Tune ’em out.
Just do the speed limit.
In a hurry? They can take a helicopter next time.