Owners of restaurants and shops in Tavares are hoping that the local authorities do something about a heavily trafficked intersection off of Highway 441 that borders on Lake Eustis. Over the past several months, this intersection has been the site of several crashes involving single cars after the drivers of these cars failed to fully navigate a turn in the intersection. Because of the proximity to the water, drivers that find themselves trying to over correct a too-wide turn (or those who simply turn to wide and never have time to correct) are at risk of plowing through the flimsy guardrail and into the lake, a situation that occurred last Sunday.
According to the official report, an SUV was attempting to make a right turn through the intersection when the driver, noticing that they were taking the turn too wide, tried to pull their vehicle back into the correct lane. Footage from the event shows that the SUV then struck the rear of another car, causing the SUV’s driver to pull the wheel sharply in the other direction in an attempt to correct the initial overcorrection. This second step caused the driver to momentarily lose control of the vehicle. Normally, such a loss of control would not necessarily mean a disastrous outcome. With a little more asphalt or a more secure guardrail in place, the incident could have ended simply, with a slightly dented rear bumper of the struck car and a few scratches on the SUV.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the intersection, this did not happen. As soon as the driver of the SUV lost control of the car, it sped through the guardrail—which, in the opinion of at least one restaurant owner along Lake Eustis, has the strength of paper—and directly into the lake, where it nosedived into the dark water. Fortunately, the lake was fairly shallow at the place where the car went in, and passersby were able to jump into the water and rescue the driver of the car before the situation became even more serious.
The incident on Sunday is only the most recent at this particular location, leading people throughout the area to demand that the municipality create a better plan for managing this particular stretch of road.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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