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WSMH FOX 66 :: News - News at Ten - Fla. woman, 79, kills 3 while backing out of church parking space
Fla. woman, 79, kills 3 while backing out of church parking space



A
79-year-old Florida woman backed over seven pedestrians Sunday morning while
backing out of a handicapped space in a church parking lot, killing three
people, police say.



 



Doreen
Landstra was backing out of a space in the parking lot of a 55-and-older mobile
home community in East Bradenton when she lost control of her SUV, striking the
pedestrians and crashing over a curb before coming to rest partially submerged
in a creek.



 



Florida
Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Gregory Bueno tells CNN charges are pending as the
investigation continues.



 



Landstra,
a former choir director in the Bradenton community, according to CNN affiliate
Bay News 9, was leaving church when, according to witnesses, she appeared to
think she put her Chevrolet SUV in drive but instead shifted into reverse.



 



According
to Bueno, three Bradenton residents -- Johanna Dijkhoff, 80, Wilhemina Paul, 70
and Margaret Vanderlaan, 72 -- died as a result of their injuries. Four others
sustained serious injuries and were taken to an area hospital. One has since
been released, Bueno said.



 



Witness
Jan Verstveg told Bay News 9 that he watched Landstra reverse into the crowd.
Landstra told witnesses "somehow the pedal got stuck" and that
"it was all a terrible accident," Verstveg recalled. Some witnesses
told Bay News 9 they "heard screams."



 



Landstra's
87-year-old husband was in the car with her. Neither sustained injuries.
Landstra was interviewed by investigators at the scene and then left with her
family, according to Bay News 9.



 



Bueno
declined to provide CNN with details regarding Landstra's condition at the time
of the crash and was unable to speculate on possible charges she may face. The
Florida Highway Patrol said in a report that the accident was not alcohol
related.





Source:
CNN





Fla. woman, 79, kills 3 while backing out of church parking space

Wednesday, February 5 2014, 02:09 PM EST

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