There are precious few things in life more tragic than the loss of a child. The loss of a mother and child together is even more upsetting. Most upsetting of all is when the tragedy was completely avoidable, like in the case of Jessica and Lillia Raubenolt.
This is a follow-up to a blog we posted back in early June. This May, Jessica, 24, and her daughter Lillia, 21 months old, were killed while crossing on foot at a corner of Bayshore Boulevard. The culprit? A recent high school graduate street racing in his Mustang. I know we’ve talked about street racing a great deal lately, but I can’t help it. It seems like more stories come out every day that demonstrate just how deadly this foolish decision can be.
Birthday Vigil for Lost Daughter
If you visited Bayshore Boulevard this past Sunday, you might have seen the drawings covering the sidewalk where the tragedy occurred. Rainbows, sunshine, and birthday messages were scribbled in chalk to celebrate what would have been Lillia’s second birthday. A birthday vigil for a life now lost.
Banners were hung. Presents were collected. Sidewalk drawings were made. But the consequences caused by careless street racers remain.
The vigil was organized by the Keep Bayshore Beautiful neighborhood organization. The vigil aimed to create more organ donors and to slow down traffic on busy Bayshore.
While Lillia’s death was tragic, part of her carries on in the lives of others. Lillia’s heart and kidney were donated to young children in need of transplants.
Pump the Brakes on Bayshore
Bayshore Boulevard is one of the busiest streets in Tampa Bay, and it’s also one of the most dangerous.
- From January to May of 2018, 430 speeding tickets were issued on Bayshore. That’s an average of 61 tickets per mile of Bayshore.
According to police, the issue of speeding on Bayshore is not a new one. It’s a constant struggle for law enforcement in the area. Writing tickets may be helpful at slowing traffic while police are present, but what happens when the police aren’t there? It treats the symptoms but doesn’t take care of the underlying problem.
- Since 2012, Bayshore has seen 60 crashes, 35 injuries and two deaths.
Fixing the Problem
In response to this tragedy, city officials state that a project to improve street safety on Bayshore is being worked on. The project includes changing the speed limit from 40 mph to 35 mph and adding at least three more crosswalk locations. Construction on the project is set to begin in 2019.
There’s only so much that law enforcement or city regulations can do. In the case of Lillia and Jessica Raubenolt, changing the speed limits wouldn’t have fixed the problem. The recent graduate who struck and killed the pair had no regard for the law. Better education and increased safety regulation is a start, but it’s up to each of us to do our part. Stay safe, stay alert, and pump the brakes a little on busy roads like Bayshore. Let’s all hope this is the last we hear of tragedy on Bayshore Boulevard.
Contact Brooks Law Group
Just because we call them accidents, it doesn’t mean that nobody is to blame. If you or a loved one has been injured because of others’ negligence, contact us for a free, no obligation case evaluation today. Our attorneys and staff take it upon themselves to provide the best client experience possible. Our clients owe us nothing unless we recover money for their case. When there is nothing to lose, why wait? Contact one of our offices, located in Tampa, Winter Haven, and Lakeland, at (800) LAW-3030 or visit us online to submit your free case evaluation.