PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – On the first day of school in St. Johns County, parents and students at Nease High School are breathing a big sigh of relief.
That's because a new traffic light at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Ray Road is now up and running. People in the community had been asking for one for years and many of them say this is a great start to the new school year.
Thursday, we expect to see those same parents and students making their way to Ray Road and onto campus at Nease High School. They say this was a project several years in the making.
Last November, two sisters, MacKenzie and Sydney Felmet, 15 and 17 at the time, were critically injured in a bad accident. People never forgot that crash. Knowing this light will help keep students safe makes all the difference for them.
"That intersection was bad," said Michelle Kovach, parent of a Nease student. "Just trying to turn and come out as a parent. It went through my mind the first couple times, something has to happen."
It was what happened last November which got the project moving, when sisters Mackenzie and Sydney
Felmet were critically injured in a crash that was a day Tara Rasmussen will never forget.
"That was heartbreaking," said Tara Rasmussen, parent of a Nease student. "But just knowing that light is there now, that makes me feel 100-percent better."
Rasmussen's son just got his permit and will soon join the many young drivers out on the road. It's a nerve-wracking time for many parents.
"My heart is always going to be in my mouth until I know that he is home safe," Rasmussen said. "And when I get that call from him, 'mom, I'm okay. I'm home, I'll feel much better."
The principal at Nease High School said MacKenzie Felmet just recently graduated.
While parents of other Nease students will never forget what happened to her and her sister, they're thankful knowing their *own* children are now a little bit safer.
High school start time is at 9:15 a.m Thursday morning.