Sarasota, Florida - A Sarasota woman whose life passion is dancing has been hospitalized. She is the victim, of a red-light runner.
Almost any time they try to install red light cameras there's bound to be some degree of opposition and in Sarasota, at Highway 301 and Fruitville Rd. there was no exception.
An accident that occurred at the intersection one week ago is a prime example, say police, of why the controversial equipment can become a very valuable tool.
The video is hard to watch - showing just how quickly, a life can be changed.
John Lake, a spokesman for Sarasota Police, sees the result of accidents all the time, but watching it happen - on camera - brings it home.
"Having a crash like that I would assume it's going to impact her for the rest of her life," says Lake.
The 20 year-old driver of the car broad-sided by the red-light runner last Friday night is Mia Redding.
Redding is an aspiring dancer. A prodigy from the time she was a little girl.
Now, she's hospitalized with injuries that have relatives praying she'll dance again.
"She dances beautifully, she's been dancing since she was five years old, and she loves it," says Hattie Yarbo, Mia's grandmother.
Yarbro's eyes tears-up as she talks about Mia's passion for dance.
She was a star at Booker High School in Sarasota.
In just two weeks, Mia was planning to audition for a dance scholarship at Santa Fe community college in Gainesville.
Now - that dream - has been put on hold.
Instead, Mia's hip was fractured so badly, Yarbro says doctors decided the young dancer needed surgery.
Determined to recover, she's already started the long, painful process of physical therapy.
"She's a person with a very positive attitude. So she's strong," says the proud grandmother.
Sarasota police say this case is a good reminder of why red light cameras can be so important. Hopefully, they keep people from running the lights. Even in cases like this, where that clearly didn't happen, there's valuable evidence. Images - that they hope will deter others.
"Years ago you weren't able to show this. No one would know about this crash and they would read it in the paper, but they wouldn't see the video," said officer Lake, "and I think the video speaks for itself that it's extremely important to stop for red lights."
Police arrested the driver of the car that ran the red light, 30-year-old Shannon McWeeney.
McWeeney was charged with possession of a crack cocaine pipe, and investigators are waiting for test results to come back before deciding if more charges will be filed related to the accident.