JACKSONVILLE, Fla – A wall, fence and even reflectors can't prevent drivers from smashing into a Mandarin home -- more than a dozen times.
The latest incident happened just after 4 a.m. Tuesday when a truck went off Julington Creek Road, plowed through the yard, hit the garage of the house and destroyed a brand new car. The driver of the truck was reportedly taken to a hospital. The homeowners, Phil and Anne Brabant, were inside at the time, but were not injured.
"I was scared for them because I know they're going through a lot right now, dealing with this again for the 15th millionth time, it feels like," Darlene Brabant, the couple's daughter, told News4Jax hours after it happened.
She said her mother has cancer and her father just underwent knee surgery. Their daughter said in the 35 years her parents have been living in the home, at least 15 vehicles have run into some part of the house.
The problem is that their home sits along Hood Landing Road where Julington Creek Road dead ends.
"It's a long distance, like a couple miles, so maybe people get confused," Darlene Brabant said. "I'm not sure why. There's plenty of warnings that there's a stop sign."
A few years ago, the city even installed a type of rumble strips along the road to alert drivers, but that's not enough.
The Brabants said they've done everything they possibly do to help prevent this from happening, even using their own money to build this brick wall. They have also posted reflectors with flashing lights on top. Yet it still continues to be a problem.
"We've had it replaced three times," Phil Brabant said. "We called a contractor to help."
Now the family has to file yet another claim with the insurance company and another mess to clean up, on top of having to get a new car.
"It puts a lot of strain on them financially. It's devastating," Darlene Brabant said. "I hope the driver is OK."
The Brabants don't plan to move out of their home, but said they hope the city will consider adding another stop sign and lighting along Julington Creek Road.
News4Jax asked the city about the problem and what it can do, and we recieved a response on their plans on Thursday.
The city plans to update the sign panels and order the LED Stop sign in the next few days.
The city's traffic technician recommended:
- Updating all existed signs due to their age.
- Trim or remove crepe myrtle bushes along the south edge of Julington Creek Road, which may obscure the left-side-mounted advanced stop ahead sign and stop sign.
- Add post-alert reflective red strips on the stop sign posts.
- Replace the right-side-mounted stop sign with a solar powered LED Stop sign panel.