PERDIDO KEY, Fla. (WKRG) — After an online petition received about 1,000 signatures, the Florida Highway Patrol has agreed to add more troopers along Perdido Key Drive to crack down on impaired and reckless driving.
Stacy Wells’ friends put up a cross and flowers where she was killed early Saturday morning at Gulf Beach Highway and Bauer Road.
“I just heard this loud boom,” Makenzi Pitts said.
Pitts lives nearby and she ran to the scene just before 2 a.m. That’s where she found Stacy who was driving home from work at Perdido Beach Resort.
“I stayed the whole time with this woman trying to get a response, you know, check her pulse,” Pitts said. “There was nothing and I had my friend on the phone with 911.”
The alleged drunk driver who killed her is Lewis Winn. Pitts said he tried to run from the scene.
“A cop had arrested him and he was belligerent drunk..he couldn’t even walk,” she said.
This tragedy comes just three months after Wells’ coworker and friend, Cylea Lyrio, was killed by alleged drunk driver Billy Bowman on Perdido Key Drive near Johnson Beach Road.
This week, it sparked an online petition at Change.org to get more law enforcement in the area. Rebecca DeOliveira created the petition and is relieved to see some change that’s come from it.
“Whenever you drive, you’re not only risking your life but you’re putting other people’s lives at risk as well,” Pitts said.
FHP says it will work to remove impaired drivers from the roads by adding a few troopers in marked and unmarked vehicles.
“One loss is too many, so we will have a supervisor lead an enforcement detail periodically and unannounced during the coming weeks and weekends,” Lt. Jason King said.
Lt. King reports 293 car crashes in the past five years in Perdido Key from the Theo Baars Bridge to the state line and that includes 190 injuries and seven deaths.
Both men charged in the two recent deadly crashes, Winn and Bowman, are still in the Escambia County Jail.