Esther Ohayon was killed and her daughter was injured as they crossed San Jose Boulevard last week on their way to the Etz Chaim Synagogue.
The accident isn’t the first on the busy road. In 2009 a six-year-old was struck and killed just blocks away by the same driver.
Etz Chaim Rabbi Yaakov Fisch's top priority following the latest fatal accident is to address potential solutions to the dangerous intersection. Those ideas include building a pedestrian bridge, extending the green light timer for the crosswalk, or hiring a law enforcement officer to help families cross safely.
“I don’t feel that this is just a Jewish community issue,” Fisch said. “I think this is an overall community issue. Unfortunately, a member of our community was killed, but we as a society have to have some reflection.”
There are many families with small children who cross the same intersection on their way to the synagogue.
The Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Transportation are part of the process to make roads safer. FHP public affairs officer Sgt. Dylan Bryan, is urging people to exercise caution.
“We need to pay attention to our surroundings. Not saying that was a distraction in this case, but just overall,” he said, adding that pedestrian safety is very important to the agency.
According to Sgt. Bryan, a motion sensor was installed in the north end of the intersection at San Jose Blvd. and Haley Rd. a few years ago to give pedestrians more time to cross.
There are no sensors installed in the south end of the intersection where Ohayon and her daughter crossed.
There are ongoing investigations to make the roads safer, including the possibility of installing more sensors at the intersection.