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Wrong-way fatal crash prompts painful memories for mom

Harold Martinez, 36, dies in Sawgrass Expressway crash

The mother of woman killed on Sawgrass Expressway says she is in disbelief over why wrong-way accidents continue to happen on the highway years after her daughter's death.
The mother of woman killed on Sawgrass Expressway says she is in disbelief over why wrong-way accidents continue to happen on the highway years after her daughter's death.

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – When she is having a bad day, Christine Ferrante said she visits her 21-year-old daughter's memorial tree and sits on the beach.  Wednesday was a very bad day.

At the same Broward County location where her daughter Kaitlyn Ferrante and her friend Marisa Catronio died two years ago, there was another fatal crash.

"I just don't understand how it keeps happening. The signs are up; they are working," Ferrante said. "I don't understand how people don't see the flashing signs [showing] that they are going the wrong way."

About 5 a.m., Wednesday, Harold Martinez was driving a Hyundai Sonata. He drove about two miles north in the southbound lanes of the Sawgrass Expressway. He hit oncoming traffic and died.

The driver of a silver Toyota Corolla was in critical condition Thursday.  

The Department of Transportation's traffic management center has been running a system to detect wrong way drivers since October. They alert Florida Highway Patrol and cameras snap several pictures.

"Since it came online, there have been at least 13 instances where the system has activated," DOT spokesman Chad Hull said. "In all those 13 instances by the time the troopers arrived there was no scene to be found, so the vehicle in question corrected."

 Ferrante learned about the Wednesday crash that killed Martinez, 36, on the news.

"It bring everything back to me -- like it was yesterday," the distraught mother said. She said she will never forget "getting that knock on the door from someone saying she was in that accident."

Follow Local 10 News Investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier on Twitter @JWeinsier