By Debbie Flessner
It’s not even season yet, and a rash of vehicle-related property damage has been taking place in Siesta Village over the past few weeks.
While Buccaneer Landscape Management is still settling into its new contract for the maintenance of Siesta Village, there are already several accidental damage issues that will need to be addressed.
“In the span of four weeks, we had four instances of property damage,” said Michael Shay, president of the Siesta Key Village Association and the point person within the Village for Buccaneer. “But it’s just coincidental that we had that many instances of property damages in the off-season, all on Ocean Boulevard.”
Each of the incidents happened on different dates and are seemingly unrelated. Next to the Siesta Beach Resort and Suites, a car hit a Black Olive tree and a trash can that was bolted into the ground. Both were severely damaged, and the car probably was, too, but there were no witnesses
to the accident.
Shay said that it was hard to understand how something as loud as a car accident and on such a busy street could go unnoticed, no matter what time of night it occurred.
“On the corner of Canal and Ocean, right by the Lobster Pot, is one of the new lighted bollards, and someone clearly hit it and cut it off by the base,” he said. “But nobody saw that, either, so there is no police report.”
However, when a car is incapacitated as the result of an accident, there is no way to avoid at least a ticket. Two of the recent property damage incidents required tow truck removal of the cars and the issuance of citations, partially because of the accidents but also because of the reason they happened.
Because of a recently passed law in the state of Florida, texting while driving is illegal. But at the intersection in front of the Beach Club, someone ran the stop sign at the four-way stop because they were texting on their phone at the time. The result was the loss of a Black Olive tree, two decorative benches and a bike rack.
In front of Siesta Town House condominiums, there is a long hedge of sea grapes, but now there is a large section of those missing. That’s because a young man was looking down at his phone while attempting to round the curve there and lost control of his car.
According to the police report, the accident was a direct result of the young man’s actions right before the crash.
“Driver of V1 was negotiating the right curve in the 4600 block of Ocean Blvd.,” the report states. “He stated that he looked down at his phone and when he realized he was in the opposite lane of traffic, oversteered and went into the bushes on the west side of the roadway.”
The report estimates damage to the vehicle at $7,000 and damages to the sea grape bushes at $1,000. Luckily, even though the number of accidents this kind of year may be a bit unusual, the repairs are not that difficult to arrange.
“All of that kind of stuff is now simply a matter of telling Buccaneer and letting them take care of it,” Shay said. “Because of the contract, damages in the Village have to be fixed to the way they were before.”