After multiple car crash into homes, Avalon Park road to be realigned

News 6 investigation leads to engineering change

By Louis Bolden - Investigative Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County engineers have started the process of realigning a portion of Avalon Park Boulevard just south of Auburn Cove Lane after a series of investigations by News 6 revealed cars had crashed into homes on many occasions.

Resident Carlos Ortiz-Vega says he is pleased to see the construction.

"Once I saw they broke ground, I said, "There we go. Results are coming in, thanks to News 6," Ortiz-Vega said.

Ortiz-Vega has seen the devastation for years.

Since 2011, there have been multiple crashes. One of the most serious was a car crashing into Ortiz-Vega's living room.

"The accidents just kept coming, just kept coming, one at a time, one at a time," he said.

Next door to Ortiz-Vega, four cars crashed onto Mika and Elizabeth Adams property, one just missing their daughter’s bedroom.

"It’s not safe," Elizabeth Adams told News 6 in 2015. "We don't feel safe."

When News 6 originally took the problem to Orange County in 2015, traffic engineer Frank Yokiel said the crashes were operator error and drivers should slow down.

"We believe it's a speed issue coming through the curves," he said.

In a third investigation, News 6 told county officials about 62-year-old Eleanor Ball, a Sarasota woman who was killed in 2014 when a car crashed into her home.

City records show vehicles had crashed onto Ball's property six times before the fatal crash.

"I truly believe she could be alive if she had a barrier behind her house."

Orange County engineers went to work shortly after installing speed detecting devices, more signage and guardrails.

After it was installed, cars hit the guardrail, but did not hit the homes.

County officials said the long-term solution is to realign the road and take out the curve.

"Eliminating the curve, it’s a good thing," Ortiz-Vega said. "Because it keeps the cars from crashing into our homes. That’s the key right there and that’s our safety. I'm happy that News 6 got tremendous results. I mean unbelievable."

The project is scheduled to be complete by late 2020, according to county engineers.

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