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Friday, Sep 22, 2017
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Cars keep crashing into wall; Carrollwood woman says county won't help

A Carrollwood homeowner says she lives in fear because cars repeatedly crash into a concrete wall bordering her property. But Ezra Santiago says repeated requests for assistance from Hillsborough County have been denied. Santiago lives in a home on Mountain Farm Court, just off Hutchinson Road east of the Veteran's Expressway. She says the wall has been hit by cars nearly 20 times during the past 15 years, most recently three weeks ago.
"It's such a horrible big explosion, big bang. It's startling, and it'll wake you up in your sleep and everything" she says Getting the wall fixed is an agonizing process. "Some of the times it has taken at least a year," Santiago says. The driver's car insurance typically covers the repair of the wall, but not before a long back-and-forth with Santiago's homeowner's association. The HOA says the wall is not its responsibility because it crumbles on Santiago's property. In numerous cases, drivers have driven away. When that happens, that leaves Santiago left to fork over nearly $4,000 to rebuild a portion of the wall. Another problem is that this wall is a tempting shortcut for schoolchildren going home to their neighborhood, and that creates a safety hazard for them and another liability for the homeowner." Santiago's requests to Hillsborough County for a guardrail have been denied, so she called News Channel 8 to investigate. Officials told a reporter that a guardrail is a last resort because it can be even more dangerous for drivers. However, officials agreed to go back out to the road and look into more options to help. The county says Hutchison Road was designed 70 years ago as a rural county road. Recent development in the area means more drivers are using the road than originally intended. The county has installed flashing lights and markers on the pavement, but officials say they will consider doing more.

News Channel 8's Shannon Behnken contributed to this report.
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