CASSELBERRY, Fla. - Laura Quillen and her neighbors said no one had listened to their concerns and complaints about speeders driving recklessly on Lake Griffin Circle -- until now.
On Wednesday afternoon, the city of Casselberry agreed to install a speed and traffic measurement device on front of Quillen's home on Lake Griffin Circle.
The decision comes after Quillen was sitting with her family in her Casselberry garage Monday night celebrating the new year when, just before 9 p.m., the driver of an SUV lost control, missed the curve and smashed through their front yard fence at the corner of Lake Griffin Circle and Packing House Drive.
"Everything turned blue and it reminded me of the incident I'd seen in Astoria, Queens, the night before. The transformer exploded, everything was blue," Quillen said. "Thank God my grandchildren weren't here. My daughter went to Pennsylvania. Normally I have 22 grandchildren and at least 11 of them would have been out here playing."
Quillen said after the crash, the driver of the gray SUV got stuck on a power pole support cable, but was able to free the vehicle and took off before anyone saw him or her.
On Tuesday morning, Quillen's front yard was littered with shattered plastic fence pieces.
Quillen and her neighbors said speeding at that intersection has been a problem for years.
"It is horrible," Quillen said.
She and her neighbors said they'd informally complained to Casselberry police and the city's mayor, but no one responded.
Quillen and next-door neighbor Elaine Eike, a 30-year-resident, said they'd posted messages on Facebook to the mayor, called police and spoken with officers on patrol.
"I contacted the mayor of Casselberry with no response. I know they [other neighbors] have called the police many times," Eike said. "I am a nervous wreck when I'm backing out of my house. I'm halfway out and they're zooming around doing 30 and 40, even though the speed limit is 25."
According to city spokesperson Sara Brady, the city hadn't received any formal complaints about speeding on Lake Griffin Circle for more than a decade.
"After a review of calls to the police department regarding speeding on Lake Griffin Circle, records show that it has been several years since the city has received a formal traffic complaint," Brady said. "Additionally, the city's Public Works Department has received no formal complaints or notifications regarding speeding on Lake Griffin Circle. However, in light of the recent hit-and-run incident, the city will place traffic and speed measurement devices in the area to record an accurate understanding of traffic activity. Based on those findings, the city will determine whether a more formal intersection analysis for stop signs should be pursued."
Qillen and Eike were ecstatic.
"That's great, that's great, every little bit helps," Quillen said. "It's a start, it's something, better than what we had, nothing."
Footage from Quillen's surveillance camera shows the outline of the SUV a split-second before it crashed, knocked out power, and ended the recording.
The hit-and-run driver has not been located.
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