CDD 1 supervisors hope to alleviate safety concerns by creating a new memorial location.
LAKEWOOD RANCH — Three months after a fatal auto accident on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, the crash site remains a memorial with flowers, photographs and other reminders that Lakewood Ranch teenagers Brendan Shreve and Jared Duran died there Oct. 10.
Supervisors in Lakewood Ranch Community Development District 1 want the boys’ friends and families to grieve and reflect as needed, but they hope to find an alternative site for reflection.
The accident site is located in the median of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, just north of Clubhouse Drive. On Dec. 17, the supervisors agreed to install a memorial bench near the accident site, most likely in a nearby grassy patch by the sidewalk on the western side of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard.
“We want to remain sensitive to the overall picture, but there is some concern with potential traffic hazards,” CDD 1 Chairwoman June Stroup said.
Supervisors worry a pedestrian may be struck by a vehicle while crossing over to the median, particularly because there’s a curve in the road near that location.
The district will allow the placement of memorial flowers and other items through the holidays, but plans to install the bench as an alternative memorial location shortly thereafter. It will serve as a general memorial site both to Shreve and to Duran, as well as to 83-year-old Donald Mader, who was struck April 3 by a vehicle while riding his bicycle at the northwest corner of Parkside Place and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, farther north. He died a day later.
“We as a board are trying to be sensitive,” Stroup said. “We are a community. These are the things we should be doing. People like Don did a lot for the community and these boys are the future of our community.”
The bench could serve as a memorial for future accident victims within the district, as well. The bench cost is estimated at $800.
Supervisors also are sending a letter to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office thanking it for its presence and help managing the accident site in the days following the accident, including the times when hundreds of high school students gathered for a candlelight vigil and to place flowers there.