Barriers Installed Along SPI Road after Deadly Accident

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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – South Padre Island officials invested nearly $40,000 in adding an extra barrier between their traffic lanes and pedestrian-bike lane on Gulf Boulevard. They said they’re hoping the new measure will prevent any future accidents from happening.

Back in March, a Sugarland woman was charged in a fatal hit-and-run that claimed the life of a Los Fresnos woman during spring break.

Daisy Joy Decker is charged with intoxication manslaughter. According to court documents, Decker’s attorney filed a motion asking she be released from jail until further action is taken against her.

The motion was granted.

Investigators said Decker veered off the road and struck five people who were walking on the pedestrian lane on Gulf Boulevard. Maria Selena Patino, 19, died from her injuries at the hospital.

Since the fatal hit-and-run, plastic barriers were bolted into the ground to divide the traffic lanes from the pedestrian-bike lanes and people have taken notice.

“Most everybody really loves them, especially considering what happened, this is great,” Patti Pitcock said.

South Padre Island spokeswoman Nikki Soto said the town is hoping to avoid any future accidents.

“I think it’s great because there’s so much activity on the street. We live right here on Gulf, and there’s all day people, biking, rollerblading, skating, whatever. They use it a lot, so I think it’s good to keep them safe,” Sarah Franz, an island resident, said.

Soto said the barriers span three and a half miles, from Haas Street to Palmetto Street. She said South Padre Island spent $33,800 for the delineators. It took just two and half days to install them.

Soto added the city manager saw the safety measure as an immediate need. It did not have to go before a city council vote.

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