- At least one person was killed Monday afternoon in a traffic crash on U.S. 19 in Spring Hill (Jan. 2011)
- Fatal Crash on US Highway 19 in Palm Harbor (Dec. 2011)
- U.S. 19 at Ulmerton Road in Clearwater is back open again following a fatal accident (June 2012)
- Car accident on U.S. 19 in Taylor County kills 21 year old male (July 2012)
- Double fatal crash overnight in Hudson on U.S. 19 (August 2012)
This list of headlines has three things in common. First of all, they head articles or news stories about traffic accidents on U.S. 19. Second, each of them happened in Florida. Third and most importantly, each of these stories reports a death. A death that occurred on U.S. 19 because of an accident. This list goes on from here, these are only a few.
The headlines listed are only a few between 2011 and 2012. However, the list of accidents occurring on U.S. 19 go back further than I cared to research, and quite honestly I was saddened at how many of the titled articles included the words death and fatal.
Over and over again, articles listed on the internet, some on news channel sites, some from newspapers, and some from the U.S. Highway 19 Accident and Traffic Report.
In one case, a 72-year-old man who was badly injured when his car was rear-ended by another driver who had gone on a driving rampage, died several days after the incident. A Florida Highway Patrol spokesman said that the Weeki Wachee resident was only one of many who were struck by the driver of a minivan who caused at least three accidents in Pasco and Hernando counties that day. The family of the man responsible for these accidents claims that he suffers from bipolar disorder. I thought to myself, this death could have been anyone driving down 19 on the day that a man with bipolar disorder got behind the wheel when he shouldn't have.
Sometimes the fatalities weren't even drivers or passengers. In several cases the accidents actually involved killing pedestrians. Of course every accident has its reasons but many include texting, DUI, poor weather conditions, and speeding or changing lanes at high rates of speed. Any of these reasons can and up resulting in a wrongful death.
Have you ever witnessed an accident or the scene of an accident on U.S. 19? The highway bringing traffic to a complete halt or being closed is usually not the worst part. The turned over car, the smoke, all the rescue vehicles, people crying on the side of the road, and the person on the stretcher are usually a far worse scene to absorb than the line of cars in front of you.
Until the highway patrol is able to find a way to cut down on speedy or irresponsible drivers who cause havoc on U.S. 19, bear in mind that not everyone is as safe as you may be. Keep an eye out for the "other guy"