WILDWOOD, Mo. — After a push from Wildwood residents, officials have installed flashing beacons on a crosswalk on Old State Road where a car hit a bicyclist last November. Residents hope the installation prevents such incidents.

Brock Vanek was hit while riding his bike on a crosswalk, crossing the two-lane Old State Road, on Nov. 8. When the car hit him, he flew about 30 feet and landed in a ditch off the side of the road. He suffered a broken ankle and had months of physical therapy, but is now back to work.

When Brock Vanek was hit while riding his bike, there weren’t any lights on the crosswalk yet.

Since then, Brock’s dad James Vanek has made it his mission to make Old State Road safer, for everyone.

“When my son got saved, that day, I actually kind of took it as a sign a little bit that God wanted me to actually work on this,” James Vanek said.

Because of his push at the city, county, and state levels, Wildwood and St. Louis County installed rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) at the intersection where Brock was hit.

“This has improved the safety of this intersection substantially. It’s still a dangerous intersection,” James Vanek said. “People are going faster than 40 mph here.”

James Vanek said he is grateful for the installation and hopes it helps drivers slow down and notice people crossing. Vanek said that during the installation, he was told these were the first of their kind on a St. Louis County road, and the county has informed him that they plan to do an audit to see where more of the flashing beacons could be used in the county to improve safety.

According to Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin, the city spent $10,000 for planning and installation, and the county spent $7500. He said this is a county road.

“Wildwood is very resident-centric,” Mayor Bowlin said. “That’s how this got started and it was only a matter of several weeks until we were able to get something fairly large accomplished for our residents.”

“There’s one side of me that’s very happy this is in, and there’s the other side of me that’s fearful that people won’t stop,” he said.

Vanek said his work is not done on Old State Road to make it safer for everyone.

“The ultimate goal for this intersection is to get the roundabout there,” Vanek said, pointing to where Old State and Ridge roads meet.

He also would like to see a safe place for people to cross just half of a mile south of where his son was hit. He said he sees young teenagers cross the street because there is no crosswalk and it’s difficult to see cars coming above the hill.

“All I’m trying to do is help,” he said.