Officials to review dangerous curve in St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - City officials want something done about a dangerous curve on a much-traveled road in St. Augustine and have asked the Florida Department of Transportation for some fast feedback.

Trevor and Jennifer Leonardi, a newlywed couple, were killed on that curve on Anastasia Boulevard near a St. Augustine Fire Department station on Christmas Day.

John Regan, St. Augustine's city manager, says the City Commission passed a resolution last week to formally ask DOT to do a traffic study at the curve.

The city has wanted to go to DOT about the common crash site for a while, but the recent death of the young couple on Christmas Day was the last straw, and they don't want any more tragedies.

"It's a problem spot because you can gain a lot of speed," Regan said.

A sign approaching the curve posts the speed limit of 30 mph.

The firehouse right by the curve has been beaten up several times by drivers who don't pay attention to the many warnings already there.

"There's been several wrecks that have hit the station at different parts of the station," said Dustin Hamilton, of the Fire Department. "Probably a guardrail would help us more so than anything else."

Hamilton admits it's a little scary knowing someone could crash through the fire station at any time.

"If it had been five or 10 more feet in the other direction -- and it happened at 5 o'clock in the morning -- it would have came through the bedroom and definitely have struck several of the firefighters that are sleeping," Hamilton said.

He doesn't think speed is the issue. He blames impaired drivers.

"It's tourist town, a lot of people come here and they have a good time drinking and whatnot," Hamilton said.

The city agrees.

"Impaired drivers are getting up to very high rates of speed, 90 mph, 100 mph, and leaving the curve and putting a lot of other people at risk as a result," Regan said.

The fire station said a while back a car also slammed into the surf shop next door. Lisa Audrey, who works at the surf shop, thinks speed is the big concern.

"Every time I drive it, people are driving by me, and I feel like a grandma driving on the road," Audrey said.

No matter the reason, DOT said it will get with the city next week about what it can do to help the dangerous situation.

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