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Mayor Urges Southwest Ranches To Open Gates After Deadly Crash

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Community leaders are asking gates be removed after a woman was killed because she had to take an alternate route. (Source: CBS4)

Community leaders are asking gates be removed after a woman was killed because she had to take an alternate route. (Source: CBS4)

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South Florida Crime

PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – Family, friends and neighbors are mourning the death of Maritza Medina—a mother and wife killed after her car was slammed by a suspect that was attempting to flee police Wednesday.

“We will miss her she was a good person, she was a good mother she was kind… it’s a tragedy,” said Mike Hanley, a friend and neighbor of Medina’s.

Forty-eight-year-old Medina’s friends and neighbors are outraged and believe her death was sensless. Not only because of the crazed driver, Antonio Feliu, but because Medina, 48, shouldn’t have been driving on that road.

Broward Sheriff’s Office said Medina was heading westbound on Griffin Road Wednesday morning about to turn onto US 27 when murder suspect Antonio Feliu ran a red light and slammed into her sedan. Neighbors believe Medina was heading home after dropping one of her daughter’s off at school.

But Medina’s usual route to drop off her daughter, a total of three miles, is blocked by white gates that were installed by the town of Southwest Ranches last year to keep out traffic. Due to the gates, Medina was forced to go double the distance—a route that took her down US 27 where she was killed Wednesday.

“If Southwest Ranches hadn’t closed 199th, 202 and 205, she would have never taken that path and we believe US 27 is a deathtrap,” said Hanley.

In the wake of Wednesday’s tragic accident, Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis sent a letter to Jeff Nelson, the mayor of Southwest Ranches, urging that he “look at opening the gates in Southwest Ranches for an interim period until we can build a road to Griffin Road.”

“The gates have made a major obstacle for us and I think it’s clearly put a life-safety threat on all of the people in this neighborhood,” said neighbor Jon Tholen.

CBS4’s Gaby Fleishman reached out to Nelson and the town’s manager but both we’re not available to comment.

There is a road being built right now on 54th Place to Griffin that will complete in six months, but residents say that is not enough—they want the gates down.

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