NORTH MIAMI (CBS4) — Ed Duffie’s North Miami home is constantly being remodeled but not by choice. These remodels are courtesy of vehicles that crash into his home, repeatedly. His home has gotten hit so many times that one police lieutenant believes it may just be the most dangerous address in South Florida.
The latest incident at Ed Duffie’s home involved an SUV that hit a crowded van and crashed through his sister’s bedroom. Only security bars stopped it from landing on her bed. Several passengers were hurt, and Ed’s home was left a mess.
“The bed got pushed, the backboard is crushed, the dresser everything that was on there, carpet, the AC, the power’s not working,” explained Duffie to CBS4’s Natalia Zea.
If he doesn’t seem surprised, it’s because he’s not. Ed has lived in this house on the corner of Northwest 135th Street and 6th Avenue since he was 2-years old. Accidents happen at this intersection day and night.
“I guess cuz I grew up seeing accidents every week, It’s like I’m numb I guess,” said Duffie.
He’s may be numb but he’s also nimble.
“Now when I hear an accident I used to run to the window, now I run to the back, I don’t go to the window. I wait till I hear all the ‘boom boom’. Once it stops, then I look out.”
During the interview with Ed, there was a near-accident. He laughed it off and explained that he had a concrete wall built around much of his home in the 1980s and that’s helped a little.
“Last year, an 18-wheeler hit the wall. The wall stopped it but it put a hole in the wall,” explained Duffie.
North Miami Police Lieutenant Neal Cuevas knows this house well, he says along with every other officer on the force.
“I can’t imagine that there’s any house in Dade County or Broward County that has been subjected to this type of accident, and has had the number of cars running into it as this one,” said Cuevas. In his opinion, it’s the worst in town. “How these people sleep at night is beyond me.”
So why doesn’t Ed Duffie sell his home? He believes a home fortified with barricades will be a tough sell.
Ed said he tried to get the Florida Department of Transportation to protect his house before, with no luck. Zea took his concerns to the FDOT.
“He says what he would like to see is a guardrail to protect his home from the cars that are constantly colliding into it. Is that something you could consider?” asked Zea. “Absolutely and that is something that we’re looking at right now,” said FDOT Traffic Operations Engineer Ramon Sierra.
According to Sierra, the FDOT has been working on this dangerous intersection since 1975.
They’ve lowered speed limits, switched up signals, and put in extra signage. But the accidents continue. According to FDOT, 57-percent of the car accidents at this intersection happen when a car heading eastbound on Northwest 135th street runs the red light. They then hit a car, or cars which are driving south on Northwest 6th Avenue. When they collide at an angle, one of the cars tends to veer right into Ed’s home.
The City of North Miami now plans to put in red light cameras at the intersection and FDOT’s working on more changes including traffic light reflectors which are designed to increase visibility of that signal.
Work will also begin next month on adding extra lanes to reduce congestion.
Ed hopes the changes will keep his home safe, though he’s not taking chances. His next project is putting in PVC piping filled with concrete.
Despite the fact that his home is like a battered pin in a treacherous bowling alley, Ed says his faith lets him rest.
“I sleep like a baby. I say my prayers and go to sleep.”