A fatal crash that killed two young women on Orange Avenue in Winter Park was the impetus for an investigation by the City of Winter Park and the Florida Department of Transportation.  The investigators’ findings are due to be reported at a City Council meeting later this week.

The tragic crash occurred on New Year’s Eve 2017.  The driver of a BMW was reportedly going 128 mph down Orange Avenue in Winter Park when he collided with a car backing out of one of the homes along Orange Avenue.  The crash took the lives of two 28-year old women.  The posted speed along Orange Avenue in Winter Park is 35 mph.

Speed Is An Issue On Orange Avenue

Although 128 mph is obviously a ridiculous speed, for those of us who travel that stretch of road frequently, we know that it is not uncommon for drivers to exceed the 35 mph speed limit.  The section of road that runs through Orwin Manor is relatively straight, with no traffic controls, so people seem to think they can speed there.

According to the material issued by the City of Winter Park, there have been 11 crashes on Orange Avenue, west of Highway 17-92, in the past two years.  This is not altogether surprising.  Heading west, vehicles often abruptly slow in order to make right-hand turns on to Westchester Avenue – a convenient cut-through to I-4.  I have also seen several near-misses with cars pulling out of Westchester Avenue, attempting to turn left on eastbound Orange Avenue.

Leading up to the release of the investigation Report, some people are asking whether a traffic light should be installed at Westchester and Orange.  It appears that City favors installing electronic signs letting motorists know when they are exceeding 35 mph.  Whatever the City decides, something needs to be done.  11 crashes in 24 months — and at least one leading to two deaths — is too many.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Orange Avenue — at least the Winter Park section — in the coming months.  Check back here for updates.

If you have questions about a Florida car accident — whether in Winter Park or anywhere else in Florida — call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Robert Hemphill and Kim Cullen at 407-644-4444.  Or, you can order their free Florida accident book.

Kim Cullen
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Central Florida Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney
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Garrick Spears 03/06/2020 01:29 PM
I'm not sure when this article was posted but we continue to see accidents at the Westchester & Orange Ave intersection. The most recent was 3/5 at 3:50 pm and was the same scenario as the one on 12/31/16 which left two people dead. Cars frequently land on our sidewalks; the two most recent ones did. Though from different circumstances, a car landed out of the air after flipping 360 degrees onto our privacy fence 55' from the road on Nov 1st, 2018. Not only are drivers and passengers in danger of this section of Orange Ave but residents are as well. The State has a proposal to narrow the road down to two lanes but we are, at minimum, four years from such a solution. This means many more accidents will happen, more people will get injured, and the potential for more deaths remains. I don't know if the State or cities can be held liable; they have documented the dangers of the road and are slow to take action to prevent others from harm. It is sad and frustrating to continue to see strangers, friends and colleagues be victims of this dangerous stretch of road and intersection.
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