Mayor Curry on Hart Bridge wrong-way crash: ‘I’m certain that the engineers will take a look’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An overnight crash took the lives of two young women who were driving the wrong way on the newly built Hart Bridge ramp.

Action News Jax first told you about the deadly crash on Monday.

The two women were driving eastbound in the westbound lanes on the Hart Bridge coming from Gator Bowl Boulevard, according to the Florida Highway Patrol crash report. A Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) bus was heading westbound in the left lane. The two collided. The women, who were in their late 20s, died as a result of the crash. The bus driver was not seriously injured.

The JTA bus was out-of-service, meaning no passengers were on board. This is the driver’s first crash, according to a JTA spokesperson. The driver is on leave until the investigation is cleared.

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JTA sent us this statement in regards to the crash:

“We are devastated by this precious loss of life. Please join me in keeping these people and their loved ones in our thoughts as we process what happened early this morning. We are thankful that the Bus Operator was not seriously injured and that no other passengers were on board. Our focus is supporting him during this difficult time along with any employees who need it. The JTA is working with law enforcement as they continue their important work and as we conduct our own internal investigation.”

The onramp construction is a city funded project. On Wednesday, Action News Jax asked Mayor Lenny Curry if his crews would be looking into the safety of the construction and the set up of the area.

“My heart goes out to the family,” Mayor Curry said. “I’m not familiar with the details of the accident except that life was lost. I’m certain that the engineers will take a look at that and make sure that proper safety is put in place.”

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Action News Jax followed up and sent an email to the City asking if additional signage would be added to the area. We are waiting to hear back.

We’ve requested the dashcam video from the JTA bus, but were told, “Pursuant to Florida law, the records requested are confidential and exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act.”

Action News Jax obtained the 911 call from that night. The caller said she saw smoke coming from the SUV and that the two women were trapped inside.

The Department of Transportation sent us this statement:

“Our hearts break whenever a fatality occurs on the roadway. I would have to refer you law enforcement regarding the pending investigation and the City of Jacksonville regarding their construction project.”

We reached out to FHP for an update on the investigation. A spokesperson said, on Wednesday, the agency is waiting for the toxicology reports to come back. We will update you once we learn more.