By Roger Drouin
A child was flown Aug. 14 to a hospital after being struck by a car in Siesta Village — the second recent crash in the same area of Ocean Boulevard involving a pedestrian.
The two crashes occurred within a two-month span, and both incidents occurred when a driver struck a pedestrian who was in a crosswalk. On Sunday, Aug. 14, around 7:30 p.m., rescue squads rushed to the scene after the child was struck by a Jeep, and a Bayflite crew transported the child to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg for treatment with non life-threatening injuries.
As of press time, the crash report from the incident was not yet complete and could not be released, according to the Florida Highway Patrol records office.
During the previous crash, on July 4, a speeding driver struck a 28-year-old woman from North Carolina who was crossing the crosswalk at 5250 Ocean Boulevard. Following the incidents, some residents and Siesta leaders are saying they are concerned about pedestrian safety in this area. At an Aug. 18 meeting, the Siesta Key Association and Siesta Key Village Association discussed the possibility of asking FDOT transportation officials to install a pedestrian-crossing sign that would go in the middle of the roadway in this particular location.
On the night of July 4, at 12:13 a.m., the 28-year-old woman from North Carolina was struck while crossing the crosswalk at 5250 Ocean Boulevard in the Village. Siesta Sand learned of the crash from witnesses who had seen the incident. According to the FHP report, the pedestrian suffered incapacitating injuries at the time of the crash.
According to the report, Christian Allen Lafay, 24, of Lithia, Florida, was driving a 1995 Toyota Camry. Lafay was driving southbound on Ocean Boulevard at “a high rate of speed,” as witnesses reported to FHP. Another vehicle then made a left turn in front of Lafay, and “instead of hitting his brakes,” he “proceeded to go around the vehicle to the left across a double solid yellow line.”
Lafay collided with the pedestrian, who was mid-block in the crosswalk, and also a third vehicle. The pedestrian was transported by Sarasota County EMS to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, before an FHP trooper arrived.