No changes to troubled Orange County off-ramp as driver who crashed into retention pond dies

Orange County says changes are coming next week

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 has learned the driver who sailed off an East Orange County off-ramp and landed in a retention pond on Alafaya Trail has now died.

Two weeks ago, rescuers raced to save the driver’s life, and then the next day Orange County promised to make the State Road 408 exit safer by the end of the week.

But two weeks later, News 6 went back to the intersection and noticed nothing has changed.

The driver’s mother, Elvia Rivera, has also noticed. Since her son’s death, Rivera has continued to place flowers and balloons on Alafaya Trail in front of the retention pond.

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Rivera said Christian Bodden passed away just hours after his Mazda ended up submerged in the retention pond.

So far a fundraiser page has raised almost $2,500 for the children Bodden left behind.

A family member wrote that Bodden was underwater for 20 minutes. Troopers said Bodden missed the traffic light at the bottom of the 408 off-ramp and launched into the retention pond at a high rate of speed.


In 2015, UCF student Chloe Arenas was also killed when she drove into the water after exiting the 408. Her mother believes she fell asleep.

After Bodden’s crash, Orange County Public Works said it would enlarge the yellow end-of-road warning signs, add a reflective strip, and place permanent flashing beacons at the bottom of the off-ramp by the end of the same week.

Orange County Public Works spokesperson Darrell Moody said crews now have the work order and installation is scheduled for next week. Moody said the delay is because crews “had to order specific materials and it takes time to get them in but we are expediting installation.”

After that, Moody said engineers will consider putting in a guardrail or bollard-type barrier.

Rivera said a barrier would prevent future deaths.

“We need the barrier because if not he wouldn’t be dying,” Rivera said.

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About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.