Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas County considers stop signs along road where four teens died in crash

SEMINOLE — It's up to residents in the neighborhood to decide whether stop signs should be placed along a road where four teenagers died in a horrific crash.

Pinellas County officials will distribute a petition laying out the proposal for slowing traffic along 86th Avenue N. The plan is to place three-way stop signs at the intersections of 86th and 143rd, 141st and 139th streets. At least 60 percent of the neighbors must sign it for the plan to go through.

The county's decision to consider placing stop signs came after a meeting of 107 neighbors. The three-way sign proposal was the most popular idea, getting 53 votes. Those at the meeting turned down other ideas that included installing speed bumps or humps, having sheriff's deputies patrol the area more often, or putting in four-way stops at several intersections.

This is not the first time the county has tried to install stop signs or place other traffic control devices along the street. But in the past, the proposals have failed to get the required support from area residents.

Neighbors may be more willing to support the proposal because of the April 10 crash. The driver, Joey Ruzecki, 16, was traveling more than 70 mph along the residential street, according to a preliminary report of the Florida Highway Patrol. The speed limit there is 25 mph.

Ruzecki tried to pass on the left another car that was slowing to make a left turn onto 141st. Ruzecki hit the other car and both spun out of control.

The driver of the other car, Richard Allen Goltl, 42, was not injured. But four teens were thrown from Ruzecki's car, which hit a pine tree and burst into flames. Ruzecki was not thrown out because he had his seat belt on.

Dead were Ruzecki, Nathan Richardson, 15, Keith MacCollom, 17, and LeShawn Smith, 16. Corey Lepore, 17, was thrown from the front passenger seat into a nearby yard. He was taken to the hospital suffering from a concussion and broken bones. He survived.

Pinellas County considers stop signs along road where four teens died in crash 07/25/09 [Last modified: Saturday, July 25, 2009 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida education news: Working conditions, school choice, teacher housing and more


    WORK CONDITIONS: Two teachers at a Pinellas County middle school request transfers out, saying the campus has become "hostile and racially charged." The …

    Pinellas Park Middle School
  2. Forecast: Break out those sweaters, Tampa Bay, as cooler weather just a day away


    Tampa Bay residents will finally be able to break out their sweaters and boots this week, but not until enduring yet another humid, rainy day to start the workweek.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast. [WTSP]
  3. Justin Timberlake in Super Bowl halftime show for first time since 'wardrobe malfunction'


    Justin Timberlake has finally been invited back to the Super Bowl halftime show, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy.

    Singer Janet Jackson covers her breast as Justin Timberlake holds part of her costume after her outfit came undone during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004. The NFL announced Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, that Timberlake will headline the Super Bowl halftime show Feb. 4 in Minnesota, 14 years after the "wardrobe malfunction" with Janet Jackson cause a national controversy. [Associated Press]
  4. Here's what happened when 30 high school sophomores gave up their phones for a day


    LUTZ — They were everywhere at Steinbrenner High School. Teens with panic-stricken faces, furiously slapping one thigh, then the other.

    Grace Hayes, 15, left, and Kai'Rey Lewis, 15, talk and text friends after having a discussion about smartphone technology in Tiffany Southwell's English Literature class at Steinbrenner High last week. Southwell asked theme to give up their phones for a day and write about it. For Lewis, the ride home that day "was the longest bus ride in my life." [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  5. Cuban media treats visit by Tampa City Council as historic event


    TAMPA — Delegations of one kind or another have been traveling from Tampa to Cuba for years, even before President Barack Obama took steps to normalize relations between the two countries in December 2014.

    A Tampa delegation to Cuba this week was featured prominently in reports by the state-run media in Cuba, including Granma. From left are Tampa City Council vice chair Harry Cohen, St. Petersburg City Council Chair Darden Rice, Tampa philanthropist David Straz and Tampa City Council Chair Yolie Capin.