Church leaders rally for traffic light at scene of deadly crash

Church leaders rally for traffic light at scene of deadly crash

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The Lake Hill Baptist Church is ready to take action after losing two beloved members of their congregation to a deadly crash on March 16.

"We were having choir practice in the afternoon around 3 p.m. and we heard a crash outside.  It still hadn't hit me," said Deacon Paul Thompson.  "When we first got there, there was smoke in the car."  

He said he can't get the horrific site out of his mind.  Seventy-year-old Yvonne Oldaker dead in passenger seat and her husband, 76-year-old John was unconscious and stuck in the driver's seat of the car on the front lawn of the church.

"It's like part of our family is gone. And it's hard," said Deacon Thompson.

Investigators said the couple was turning from the westbound lane of Old Winter Garden Road towards Hudson Street, right in the path of an oncoming car. 

"Its dangerous. Many times I've seen cars just about hit.  We need something done about it," said Deacon Thompson.

Church Pastor Jerry Forrest agrees.  "All the traffic travels so fast getting down to Kirkman that they don't slow down here. They need a red light in this area. This is the fifth accident in this area that I know about," he said.

A spokesperson for Florida Highway Patrol tells FOX 35 that this is the first fatal accident at this cross street.

"One is too many, and we've had two now. And we're going to start a petition and get everybody that lives there to sign it," said Deacon Thompson.

Thompson said traffic on Old Winter Garden Road is very deceiving when you're trying to pull out of the church. "Plenty of time to get out and before you know it they're on your bumper because they're flying through there. They're not going the speed limit."

This is the only street in and out of the church.  These men said they want changes made before they have to add another memorial cross to their front lawn.

On Saturday, Pastor Forrest is presiding a double funeral for the couple who had been married for 54 years.  He said the first order of business on Monday is starting a petition and gathering signatures to get a stop light put at Hudson and Old Winter Garden Road.  They will be handing that over to county leaders.

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