‘One thing we can do:’ Orange County family gets new traffic light after daughter’s death
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A new traffic light has been installed at the Avalon Park Blvd. and Pellicer Drive intersection in honor of an Orange County mother who died in a traffic crash four years ago.
Kayla Thompson died in a crash at the nearby Avalon Park Blvd. and Perdido Drive intersection in 2019. Since then, her family has made it their mission to make Orange County roads safer.
“What we want to try to do is we want to try we want to try to make Orlando or our neighborhood, our area safer again for people to enjoy living here, people to know that, ‘’Hey, I can go outside and not get hit by a car,’” said Kayla Thompson’s father, Robert.
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The new traffic light was installed about three weeks ago. A dedication ceremony for the light was held to honor Kayla. Her parents, Bernadette and Robert, said a lot of emotions surround the installation of the new lights.
“One of the emotions is that we know that with this traffic light coming up, there will be a lot of people being saved,” Robert Thompson said. “So that’s one of the emotions that we have that, you know, even though my daughter passed, and she was tragically killed, she is still her legacy still continues to move on.”
After Bernadette and Robert found out their daughter saved five lives from being an organ donor, they said they were inspired by her to save more lives. The couple pushed for the installation of the new traffic light not far from where Kayla’s crash happened.
“By us doing more, this is one thing that we can do,” Robert said. “And if we could save people just like she did – we’re going to continue to do it.”
Robert said after four years of emotional turmoil, they were able to get it done.
“Persistence, persistence, and we kept on and on until we found Commissioner Cordero,” Robert said. “She opened the door for us. She’s the one that made this happen for us.”
Orange County Commissioner for District 4 Maribel Gomez Cordero said even though the traffic light isn’t operational yet, people are happy to see its there.
“A tragedy was here and her daughter died, and this was so needed,” Cordero said. “And I mean, I have seen how the community residents in this street right here have called my office and email saying thank you, you know, it’s much needed.”
Commissioner Cordeo said she hopes the light will slow down traffic on the busy road.
“They will stop the four ways,” Cordero said. “I mean, it’s like you can’t just speed or whatever, you know, it’s red, you have to stop.”
Bernadette and Robert said their work isn’t finished and would like to help with traffic improvements throughout Avalon Park.
“Let’s get this whole road taken care of,” Robert said. “You know, let’s make Avalon Park Boulevard a safe street, not only from Colonial to Walgreens, but I’m talking from Colonial to Alafaya, all the way down. Let’s make Avalon Park Boulevard a safe place.”
Cordero said they’re waiting on a few more pieces before the lights are activated. Once they receive those parts, the lights are ready to go.
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