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    Four hurt in accident at 'dangerous' intersection in Clearwater

    A driver runs a red light along McMullen-Booth Road, police say, less than a month after a crash killed a mother there.

    By MIKE BRASSFIELD
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published May 2, 2002


    CLEARWATER -- For the second time in a month, a severe traffic accident occurred when a speeding driver barreled through a red light at McMullen-Booth Road and Eastland Boulevard, police said.

    The crash at 7:28 p.m. Wednesday sent four people to area hospitals. Three had serious injuries and were airlifted by a Bayflite helicopter.

    The accident happened in the same intersection where a 44-year-old mother was killed and her two young daughters were injured in an April 4 wreck.

    "They really need to do something about this corner. They really do," said Marge Strang of Clearwater, who was attending a Bible study Wednesday night at the nearby Countryside Baptist Church. "How many accidents do they need?"

    Police say Wednesday night's crash was caused by a man driving a green Ford sedan southbound on McMullen-Booth Road at high speed. He ran a red light and slammed into a minivan that was entering McMullen-Booth from Eastland Boulevard, said Clearwater police Lt. Steven Burch.

    The minivan's three occupants, including a 10-year-old girl, were flown to Bayfront Medical Center, Burch said.

    The driver of the Ford was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital.

    Their names and medical conditions were not immediately available.

    Traffic on McMullen-Booth was shut down in both directions for hours between Enterprise Road and State Road 580.

    Members of Countryside Baptist Church gathered near the accident scene and stood in a prayer circle. Church members have spoken with traffic officials about improving the intersection, but they were told more studies are needed, said the church's pastor, the Rev. Bruce Crawford.

    "This intersection has been a very dangerous intersection," Crawford said. "As you probably know, there are flowers right over there," he said, pointing to where 44-year-old Cindy Kratochwill died on April 4.

    Kratochwill, a mother of two, was killed when a speeding Lincoln Town Car ran a red light, crossed a grass median into oncoming traffic, and hit Kratochwill's car. Her daughters, 12-year-old Lindsey and 9-year-old Chelsey, were in the car with her at the time. Both survived.

    -- Staff writers Curtis Krueger and Robert Farley contributed to this report.

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