A recent wrong-way accident on Interstate 75 underscores the need for action to protect motorists from wrong-way drivers.
Wrong-way accidents kill motorists and grab headlines. In early April, 91-year old Ernest Lee Holmes drove his 1993 Buick Century onto I-75 in Hamilton County just before midnight. He entered the Interstate from an exit.
Driving south, Mr. Holmes drove through northbound traffic until he hit a 2013 Ford Explorer driven by 55-year old oral surgeon Peter Linek, of Ormond Beach. As the two collided in a horrific mash of metal, vehicles to the rear and side of the accident collided. In all, five vehicles were involved in the accident, including an Atlanta-bound Greyhound bus.
Mr. Holmes and Mr. Linek were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. While 13 passengers on the bus were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, all are expected to recover.
It is unclear why Mr. Holmes was driving the wrong way. It is clear that Florida motorists need protection from drivers whose headlights suddenly appear directly in front of them on an interstate.
In March, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) reported progress on pilot technology to avert wrong-way drivers and the fatalities that follow them. Features of the safety project include:
- Improved pavement markings
- Larger, bigger signs in more locations
- Blinking LED signs activated by wrong-way drivers
The purpose of the pilot technology is to stop wrong-way drivers before they enter a ramp going the wrong direction, or, if necessary, warn drivers that a wrong-way driver is approaching on the highway.
For Mr. Linek and others, this project comes too late. If you or a loved one is injured in a motor vehicle accident in Sarasota County, seek experienced legal counsel in Bradenton.