Riverview, Florida -- Four people were injured in a multivehicle crash Thursday morning on Big Bend Road at Lincoln Road, the site of dozens of accidents a year. But a new traffic light is expected to remedy the problem.
Deputies say a blue Honda Civic drove into the intersection while heading north on Lincoln when it was hit by a Ford Explorer which then hit a Chevrolet Impala.
Westbound lanes of Big Bend Road were closed for a time, but officials reopened the road around 12:45 p.m.
"It's a horrible intersection, horrible design, constantly constantly, accidents, accidents, one after the other," said Hillsborough resident Jerry Chackal.
"We saw the gray car pull out, then the blue car was speeding down, going pretty fast. He clipped the gray car then got clipped by the Ford Explorer," said a witness.
The crash caused downed power poles with live wires at the intersection.
Two helicopters took Arlene Smith, 84, and Daniel Cline, 34, who were in the Civic, to the hospital. Two ambulances were brought in for Thomas Troost, 68, and Alexis Mack, 31, who were the drivers of the other two vehicles and suffered minor injuries.
Deputies say there was a crash at that exact same spot 12 hours earlier. Three vehicles were involved in that crash as well. The driver in one of the vehicles, 47-year-old Sonya Reigelsperger, suffered critical injuries and was taken to Tampa General Hospital. Seven others involved in the crash were not injured.
People who live in the area say it's common to see accidents at this intersection. In fact, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says more than 60 accidents occurred here within one year.
To make the intersection safer, a traffic signal was put up weeks ago, but residents complained it was never activated.
"We're all shocked it's not operative already, it should have been up and running months ago," said Chackal.
Because of the danger, the county asked TECO to expedite the project and turn on the traffic signal. On Thursday evening, the light is a flashing yellow. The county says whenever a new signal goes in, it flashes yellow for about a week to get people acclimated to it. It will stay flashing yellow until Tuesday when the signal will transition to normal operation.