MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A wrong-way wreck on the Turnpike claimed the lives of two drivers Sunday.
It was a powerful hit head-on collision that left two cars mangled – taking hours for crew to recover the victims.
The accident happened near exit two in far South Miami-Dade.
Florida Highway Patrol investigators said a driver was heading the wrong way and plowed into a southbound car about 3 a.m. in the morning.
The driver of each car was killed on the roadway. There were no other passengers.
For Gary Catronio, it’s tough news to hear.
“Our bodies shake and tremble and we just think of our daughter every time this happens again,” he said.
His daughter, Marisa, and her friend Kaitlyn Ferrante were killed on the Sawgrass Expressway in 2013. They were hit by a drunk driver going the wrong way.
Since then, Catronio worked to get warning signs at highway exits to stop wrong way drivers. It also takes video of the vehicle, calls 911 and spreads the word on highway warning signs. Now he’s taking it a step further.
His group, ‘Marisa’s Way,’ is pushing a new system where sensors would detect wrong-way drivers as they enter the highway.
Plastic poles would shoot up from the pavement warning them to turn around.
“The poles are going to come popping up out of the ground and they say ‘wrong way’ on each of the poles,” he explained. “There’s going to be about eight of them across the lane right here that would shut the lane down.”
Catronio figures if someone just doesn’t realize they’re driving the wrong way or they’re drunk the poles would stop them.
“When the poles come up they’re going to block the road like it’s shut down,” Catronio said. “We’ve never saw a wrong-way driver turn into a guard rail, if it’s blocked, they don’t go that way.”
Catronio and ‘Marisa’s Way’ plan to present this whole proposal to the local Florida Department of Transportation in the next couple of months. Early in 2016, they plan to present it to the Florida legislature.