Gainesville mother pleads for changes on East University Avenue after death of her 4-year old son

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 6:11 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A mother in East Gainesville wants change on East University Avenue after the death of her young son last week.

4-year old Dylan Roberts died after being hit while crossing East University Avenue with his siblings on Oct. 27. He and his siblings were crossing the road illegally, a point made by his mother Megan Durant who feels there should be a crosswalk or other traffic signs in front of her neighborhood of Pine Meadows. Fred Cone Park is about a five minute walk from Durant’s apartment, but one that has to be made across a road where the speed limit is 45 mph.

“We should have some kind of street signs any kind of signs to let the drivers know that this is a residential neighborhood that kids are around in this area there is none in this area,” said Durant.

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A small memorial of candles has been put at the spot where Roberts landed after being hit. Gainesville Police reports that the driver who hit Dylan did not flee the scene and they have yet to be cited or arrested. A traffic homicide investigation is underway, but Durant says she has yet to hear from GPD since the incident was reported.

“I’m devastated. I’m still trying to understand and wake-up out this nightmare and you think about what if. Maybe I should have went over there, maybe I should have locked this door up, just anything to get out of this nightmare,” said Durant.

Just under a year ago, changes were called to be made on the portion of University Avenue directly across from the University of Florida after several students died or were injured after being hit while crossing the street. Durant feels the side of town where she lives has not been getting enough attention with incidents like these that have been happening for years.

Durant said, “I’ve always felt we’ve been neglected on this side (Eastside.) I feel when they built a park and a library across the street from a community they should have already implemented a sign, a pedestrian walk, some kind of crosswalk for the safety for our kids. If they don’t owe us anything else, it’s the safety of our children because our children are our future and if we don’t protect them, who will?”

Durant has a GoFundMe page set up that was made by her sister. She hopes to use the funds on funeral expenses for her son.

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