Cocoa neighbors push for safety improvements after man was fatally struck

80-year-old man killed while mowing lawn

By James Sparvero - Reporter

COCOA, Fla. - This year, Warren McKee is looking for a sign, speeding up results by slowing things down.

“We’ll definitely be saving lives in the future, without a doubt,” the Michigan Avenue resident said.

Cocoa police said a life was lost last Friday when an 18-year-old driver hit an 80-year-old Michigan Avenue resident while the man was mowing his front lawn.

“That was heartbreaking,” neighbor Charlotte Carey said. “Somebody that lives here and it’s not even safe to be out walking around, working on your yard,” she said.

Police identified the victim as Richard LaChance. They said he briefly stepped onto Michigan Avenue during lawn mowing.

“It’s the first fatality but certainly not the first accident and dozens of near-misses,” McKee said.

He said he’s tried asking the city before last week to put in speed bumps.

The speed limit is 35. 

“We’ve seen them running through 50, 60 mph through here,” McKee said.

Police have not said how fast the teenager was driving during the collision. She is not facing charges.

Some neighbors are supporting speed bumps or three-way stop signs to get results enforcing the speed limit.

The city of Cocoa said a study of Michigan Avenue would have to be done first before speed bumps could be recommended.

Cocoa police said there were 33 accidents on all parts of Michigan Avenue in the last year.

Neighbors who support McKee can join him at City Hall during next week’s council meeting when he plans to speak. News 6 will keep you updated on his push for results. 

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