Hwy 98 & 83, car/motorcycle accident

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by steel1man, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    @Highway 83 and 98 Dangerous intersection due to no traffic light at a busy Public Beach access road.
    Multiple officers/cars on site, at least one fire engine ... appeared to be body/bodies on highway...I pray I'm wrong about bodies..
     
  2. Poppaj

    Poppaj Beach Fanatic

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    Hwy 98 & 83, car/motorcycle. Motorcyclist body covered as I passed around 4:15.
     
  3. Poppaj

    Poppaj Beach Fanatic

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    I posted in a different thread before I saw yours. Sorry to say you are correct about a death. I saw at least one body covered, appeared to be motorcyclist.
     
  4. jkmason

    jkmason Beach Lover

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    There have been numerous accidents at this intersection since traffic was rerouted due to the bridge construction. The traffic at the intersection during rush hour is insanely busy and difficult to navigate.

    Whoever was responsible for managing traffic issues due to construction should be held accountable and something should be done about the dangerous intersection NOW!
     
  5. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    ABC News 13 just reported there was a fatality when a motorcycle and SUV collided at that intersection.
     
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  6. hottytoddy

    hottytoddy Beach Lover

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    I saw this as well. God bless everyone involved and the family of the deceased. Just awful!
     
  7. jcpd2

    jcpd2 Beach Lover

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    I know there was discussion about a temporary light at one time. Was that tabled for some reason?
     
  8. Jimmy T

    Jimmy T Beach Fanatic

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    Every time I pass the 98 & 83 intersection, it makes me nervous.
    In my opinion, the best thing we could do is temporarily drop the
    speed limit there (35 mph?) until the 30A construction is finished.
    Some nice big electric signs on 98 about a mile out warning people
    either way about the speed limit drop. Instead of having a sheriff
    sitting there with flashing lights, we could have one there enforcing
    the speed limit. How many more people will have to die before we
    do something to improve the safety of that intersection?
     
  9. jkmason

    jkmason Beach Lover

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    A friend of mine totaled her car at that intersection a couple of weeks ago. The officer in the parked sheriff's car was a member of the posse, not a peace officer.

    Some observations:

    Eastbound traffic is transitioning from a signed 45 to 65 mph zone and then they see a flashing sign advising slow down and busy intersection.

    Why in the world does it say "slow Down"? That message means different things to different people. May I suggest 45 mph or even slower. A slower speed limit would have resulted in far fewer accidents and may have saved lives. By the way, I have heard there has been more than one fatality.

    Now let's address the parked sheriffs unit with lights flashing. The flashing lights are contributing to the problem. Some people react to the flashing lights by moving over from the outside lane into the right lane where people are attempting to make right turns into the busy intersection. That in and of itself is a recipe for disaster. Furthermore, the flashing lights at night interfere with our ability to identify approaching cars.

    Walton County collects a lot of bed tax money that should be used to protect our guests and residents. Let's spend whatever is necessary to improve the traffic management at this intersection.

    Lastly, whoever is responsible for managing traffic while the Draeper bridge is being constructed needs to take corrective action NOW!
     
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  10. jkmason

    jkmason Beach Lover

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    News is reporting 69 year old man was entering the intersection form Hwy 83 when he was hit by an eastbound motorcyclist from Freeport.

    What a tragedy. A dead biker and a 69 year old who was trying to live the good life here on 30A. One is gone leaving behind friends and family; the 69 Year old's life will never be the same. All this could have been avoided.

    If I were the sheriff or state patrol commander I would not be able to sleep until I got this situation under control. To protect and serve....
     
  11. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    Going east on 98 sign does say slow down ( but to what speed?). Speed limit sign 10'+/- east of the highway 83 turn SAYS 65...so they (Walton county)are saying 64 mph is slow enough..I really agree with the reduced speed limit to
    35mph half mile before intersection both directions. Oh, Enforce it....
     
  12. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    Today 12/7/15 bridge repair update
     

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  13. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    The speed limit needs to be reduced at the very least, immediately. So sad about these accidents.
     
  14. BeachArkie

    BeachArkie Beach Lover

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    I don't think the speed limit is the problem. People are already going 10-20 mph slower in that area than they used to. The problem is that people are pulling out when it isn't safe to do so.
     
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  15. John G

    John G Beach Fanatic

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    Problem is there needs to be a light there ASAP.

    I guess all the money spent to have fancy red and blue lights flashing were well spent.

    I have said it before, it is a DOT issue and they need to do something.

    While the WCSO Cars / Trucks sitting there appear to s l o w people down a bit, they do nothing more than that. County tax dollars should not be used for this, this is a State Highway.

    Why is it that we pay for WCSO cars to sit there, yet FHP works the crash (this is a rhetorical question, I know the answer...)
     
  16. seabythegrove

    seabythegrove Beach Fanatic

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    A light is just not going to happen. I drive that stretch of 98 daily. Drive defensively. Drive like your life depends on it - it does.
     
  17. jodiFL

    jodiFL Beach Fanatic

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    I see ALOT of impatient people pulling out in front of people doing 55mph (or less) in a 65 mph zone, people piling up 5/6 deep in the intersection EVERY day... how about we ask the deputy sitting in the ditch to come out and start ticketing people for OBVIOUS traffic violations???
     
  18. jkmason

    jkmason Beach Lover

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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  19. Mike Jones

    Mike Jones Beach Fanatic

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    From WZEP AM 1460:

    A Freeport man was killed after the motorcycle he was riding crashed into another car late Sunday afternoon.

    The Florida Highway Patrol reports a 2005 Harley Davidson Motorcycle, driven by 58-year-old David Wayne Beard, was eastbound on US-98 in the inside lane near County Road 83 when a 2010 Lexus, driven by 69-year-old Rodney Dixon Dorand of Santa Rosa Beach, entered into the intersection of US-98 directly into his path.

    Beard was unable to avoid the other car and collided with the left front of Mr. Dorand's car.

    Paramedics with the South Walton Fire Department tried to save Mr. Beard but he died at the scene. His body was transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner.

    Troopers say no charges have been filed but the wreck remains under investigation.
     
  20. Mike Jones

    Mike Jones Beach Fanatic

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    Daily News...

    A well-known member of the local motorcycle community was killed Sunday when he collided with a car attempting to cross the intersection of U.S Highway 98 and County Road 83 in South Walton County.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, David Wayne Beard, 58, of Freeport, was eastbound on U.S. 98 on his 2005 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when a 2010 Lexus driven by Rodney Dixon Dorand, 69, of Santa Rosa Beach, crossed into his path while entering the intersection from CR 83. Beard was unable to avoid hitting the Lexus, striking it on the left front side, the FHP report said.Emergency personnel from the South Walton Fire District responded to the accident and at-tempted to treat Beard, who was wearing a helmet, but he was later pro-nounced dead at the scene, the report said.

    Dorand suffered minor injuries.Charges are pending while the investigation into the accident continues.Beard’s daughter, Jessie Williamson, said her family was heartbro-ken by the news.“My dad’s passion was riding his Harley,” she said. “It made him very happy.”Williamson said her fa-ther, a professional roofer, was coming home from a job in Panama City when the accident happened. She described him as “a great man.”“He was extremely funny,” she said. “He loved his kids and grandkids.”


    Dangerous intersection frustrates residents


    As word of the accident spread, many South Walton residents expressed frustration with what they say are the dangerous conditions at the intersection.The spot has seen an increase in traffic since County Road 30A near Draper Lake was closed for construction of a bridge in September. Walton County created a detour down CR 83, forcing motorists to enter U.S. 98 at an intersection with no traffic light.Grayton Beach resident Cindy Butler said she passed by the wreck just moments after it hap-pened.“It was terrible,” Butler said. “The intersection is so dangerous, because you’re trying to cross a highway where the speed limit is 65 miles an hour.

    ”South Walton resident Peggy Davis shares But-ler’s concern.Davis said she and other residents made calls to the county and the state before CR 30A was closed. She said a plan should have been put in place to redirect traffic a year ago, when plans were first made to replace the existing culvert at the lake with a bridge.“We ought to do a better job of rerouting traffic safely,” she said. “It’s just a matter of time before someone else gets killed.”Davis added she has heard that a certain number of people have to die at an intersection before the state will consider putting in a light. She’s heard the number is six. Butler said she heard it is four.

    “Four deaths equal a traffic light,” Butler said. “That’s what people are saying.”Ian Satter, the public information director for the Florida Department of Transportation’s District 3, said there is no such thing as a “death criteria.”“Unfortunately what you have is Walton County doing a project on 30A,” he said. “Their initial detour route put (traffic) on County Road 83 with an unsignalized intersection.


    Paperwork necessary for temporary light

    Satter said in order for the county to get a temporary signal there, paperwork would need to be submitted to the state. Once approved, the county would be responsible for putting a signal in.According to Walton County Public Information Manager Louis Svehla, the Board of County Commissioners will take up the issue at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting at 4 p.m. at the South Walton Annex board room.“Our discussions with FDOT arose about two to three months ago, when we had to detour the traffic,” Svehla said. “But it’s a complicated process.”

    Making things even more complicated is the timeline surrounding the installation of a temporary traffic light. Svehla said that if the commission votes in favor of the light, the earliest possible installation date would be around the first or second week in February.According to Svehla, FDOT requires that temporary traffic lights be removed shortly after con-struction is completed on the project related to the light.“The estimated comple-tion date for the Draper Lake project is March 1,” Svehla said. “So the question becomes, does the commission want to spend large sums of money for a light that might only be in place for 20 days or so?

    Off-duty deputies hired by county

    About two months ago, the county commissioners contacted the Walton County Sheriff’s Office to arrange to hire some off-duty deputies to maintain a presence at the intersection from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The county pays the deputies $25 an hour.“The purpose is to slow people down and let people know that they’re entering a congested area,” said Corey Dobridnia, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.

    “The off-duty officers operate their emergency lights and are there in case of an emergency. In fact, the officer on duty Sunday jumped right in after the accident to render aid.”Many South Walton County residents aren’t satisfied with the status quo, however.“They had a year,” Davis said. “They dragged their feet. The county commission did nothing. The state did nothing.“If I were that mother (of the motorcyclist killed), and I knew that bridge was going to be out and nobody did anything, I would sue.”
     

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