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Moms Of Accident Victims Won't Rest Until Krome Ave Is Made Safe

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Anthony Rodriguez, 22, also known as DJ Sonic-C, was a rising star in Miami's club scene. Rodriguez's friend, 20-year-old Gabriel Hernandez loved the Miami Hurricanes.

"This was my son's room," Maria Hernandez said as she walked into Gabriel Hernandez's room, decorated with Miami Hurricane colors. "He loved the Hurricanes and dreamed of one day attending the University of Miami."

Click here to watch Eliott Rodriguez's report. 

Gabriel Hernandez's dream never came true. On January 19, 2014, Hernandez and Rodriguez died in a head-on collision on Krome Avenue. Police say another driver veered into their lane, killing the two young men. The driver of the other car, 19-year-old Erick Betancourt, was also killed.

"This is a pain that is awful and is never going away," Maria Hernandez said.

Maria Hernandez and Rita Rodriguez, Anthony's mother, are part of a group called "Lost Lives of Krome". They're out to warn the public that driving on Krome Avenue can be deadly.

"My boys knew not to ride that road," Rita Rodriguez said, "but there are certain places you can't avoid driving on Krome to get to."

Dotted with memorials to its victims, Krome Avenue stretches 37 miles from US 27 in Northwest Miami-Dade to US-1 near Homestead. The two-lane road is where big city traffic meets rural living and the two are not co-existing.

"Anyone who lives around here is afraid of Krome," said Rita Rodiguez.

CBS4 Anchor Eliott Rodriguez drove on Krome Avenue from Tamiami Trail to Kendall Drive. The two lane road is a high traffic and high truck corridor, but it was not designed to be either one.

At the Department of Transportation headquarters, Rodriguez was shown the death toll on Krome Avenue: 1,800 accidents over a five year period from 2008 to 2012, with 28 fatalities, an average of at least five fatalities a year.

"The department is doing everything it can within the law to advance the projects along Krome Avenue," said Harold Desdunes, of FDOT.

The DOT has a $370 million plan to make Krome four lanes with a 40-foot median.

Construction has been stalled by lawsuits from environmental groups and lack of state funding, but now the dollars are there and the lawsuits have been dropped. Completion of an expanded Krome Avenue is expected by the year 2019.

But Rita Rodriguez and Maria Hernandez say they will not rest until the road is safe.

"I quietly am saddened by my son's death," Rita Rodriguez said. "I mourn quietly, but I'm not going to be quiet about this."

The two women are planning a memorial rally on Saturday September 20th on Krome Avenue. They hope to get hundreds of people out there to demand that Killer Krome be fixed as soon as possible. They also want a memorial built in honor of the lives lost on the road.


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