Brevard commissioner seeks changes to crosswalks following girl’s death

Supporters call for flashing red lights instead of yellow

Protesters want changes to be made at a crosswalk where a 12-year-old girl was fatally struck.

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. – After a 12-year-old girl was killed walking across A1A with her family, a Brevard County commissioner said he's moving forward with an idea to change the flashing lights at the crosswalk.

Sophia Nelson’s family said on Dec. 22, the sixth-grader pushed the button on the crosswalk near Ellwood Avenue but never made it to the other side.

Sophia's father said she was fatally struck by a car.

Some neighbors concerned about the safety of the crosswalks rallied for Sophia on Saturday.

Sunday, there was a vigil on the beach.

A week later, Commissioner Curt Smith said he’s going to push for the flashing yellow lights to be replaced by red lights.

"It is tragic that we have to come to this point before we have a conversation," Smith said.

The commissioner said he plans to present the idea to the county commission at their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

“These flashing yellow lights -- most people, if you ask them, they don’t have any clue what they are,” Smith said. “You have to have the flashing red lights to get the drivers to stop so that people feel safe when they do cross.”

Satellite Beach police said they're still not ready to make a decision on whether the unidentified driver will face charges.

Smith said county-wide, five people have died in crosswalks like the ones Nelson died in.


About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.