ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- 10 News first brought you Aurora Vestel's story in October.
The 15-year-old was walking home from St. Petersburg High School after a dance rehearsal. As she used the crosswalk along 5th Avenue N. at 25th Street, a car hit her. She suffered several broken bones, is temporarily using a wheelchair, and will be homeschooled until she's medically cleared to return to St. Petersburg High. The woman behind the wheel received a citation.
The crosswalk at 5th Ave. N. has yellow signs directing drivers to stop when a pedestrian is crossing, but there are no flashing beacons or other signals. Even before Aurora was hit, her mother and sister say they were afraid to cross the street at that intersection.
The Florida Department of Transportation studied the crosswalk for months after the crash. It has now decided to add rectangular rapid flashing beacons that will activate when a pedestrian presses a button to cross the street. FDOT anticipates the system will be installed sometime within the next 90 days.
Aurora and her family are happy about the decision, and they're also hoping for a pedestrian-activated red light in the future. Bula Cafe, which sits by the intersection, has started an online petition on Aurora's behalf, hoping to get signatures in support of a red light.
According to FDOT, six pedestrian or bicycle accidents have been reported at 5th Ave. N. and 25th St. since 2005.