Concerns remain despite changes to SR 64 intersection

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Three minutes isn't enough time to express the pain of losing a child. 

But that's how much time Dan Powers was given to speak to the Manatee County Commission about the deaths of his 15-year-old son, Matthew, and 17-year-old friend, Chase Coyner. 

"One of the few things more heartbreaking to us than knowing our son died is knowing that this was preventable," Powers said. 

The teens were killed in a car crash on September 15.

They were turning onto Pope Road from State Road 64 when investigators say another car hit them. Neighbors have complained about the road for years. 

"I'm here asking, pleading.... Stop approving more housing developments in the area until the infrastructure and safety improvements can catch up," said Powers. 

The state came out last week and temporarily closed the left lane. Westbound traffic can't turn onto Pope Road.

Powers, however, remains concerned. He believes the amount of growth out east has continued without any changes to the older roadways. 

FDOT is working with continued updates on State Road 64 with safety improvements, but that won't be finished until 2023. 

"It's all of our fault. You lost your son. It's just as much FDOT as our fault," said Commissioner Charles Smith. 

Commissioner Charles Smith understands some of his pain. The same road took the life of his friends. 

"Even on 64, I've seen it even at night. It's so dangerous. I believe our friend got killed because of the road work that they were doing. It was so confusing. It will hang you off into traffic," said Smith. 

Smith would like to work with Powers to find a solution. Powers just wants to make sure no one else experiences the same loss. 

"Everyday they're out on the roads and every day it gets more and more dangerous. Everybody knows it's only a matter of time. This time it was us and next time it will be somebody else. there will be a next time," he said.