Traffic light installed to honor two teens killed in crash

A new traffic light has been installed in Ocala in honor of two teenagers killed in a car crash in 2017.

Amanda Lopez and Alyssa Comstock were the lights in their families' lives.

“I don’t think they knew how popular they were,” Amanda’s father, Tony Lopez, said.

The 15 and 17-year-old girls were killed in car crash in December of 2017 at the intersection of Northeast 14th Street and Northeast 30th Avenue in Ocala.

But, Amanda’s father said their deaths have brought new light to this intersection in the form of a brand new traffic light. It was installed last week.

“It was kind of to give some kind of purpose to what happened,” Lopez said.

Before the light was put in, there were only stop signs at the intersection.

Amanda’s father said that made it very dangerous and difficult to cross.

“[We’ve been] kind of asking ourselves, 'Why did this happen? How did this happen?'” Lopez said. “Everybody knows that this is a dangerous intersection.”

The girls' families worked the last two years to collect thousands of signatures in support of installing a traffic light.

Their goal was even backed by the city’s mayor.

“I know that one of the traffic engineers out there said that when they were out there they saw a lot of near misses,” Ocala’s Mayor Kent Guinn said. “So that will be a light there that will hopefully save lives there for years to come.”

Tony Lopez is thankful for the light.

“It was kind of bittersweet, you know,” Lopez said. “Unfortunately, sometimes out of tragedy comes blessings.”