An elderly woman accidentally backed into a crowd of people while leaving church late Sunday morning leaving three people dead and at least five more injured, according to authorities.
The crash occurred in the Sugar Creek Country Club 55-and-over mobile home community off Belinda Circle and Clubhouse Drive in East Bradenton.
Witnesses claim the 79-year-old woman thought she put her large Chevrolet sport utility vehicle in “drive,” but actually shifted into reverse and traveled backward through the clubhouse parking lot.
An 80-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other women, ages 70 and 72, were both taken to Blake Medical Center where they later died.
Four others are listed in serious condition.
According to witnesses, the woman drove into and through the pedestrians, and kept driving until her vehicle went into a creek.
She left the scene with her family. She and her husband, who was a passenger in the car during the incident, were not harmed.
Just as the name suggests, backover accidents occur when a driver backs into something or someone. These types of accidents usually take place in parking lots or driveways. Even though these accidents generally occur at lower speeds, the results can be fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 221 people are killed in backover crashes in the United States in parking lots, driveways and other off-road locations, and an additional 71 deaths occur on public roads annually. Another 18,000 people nationwide suffer injuries each year from backover collisions. If you or someone close to you has been injured or killed in a backover accident, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your losses.
The majority of backover accidents involve small children and the elderly. In fact, the NHTSA reports that about one-fourth of the annual deaths from backover accidents are people aged 70 and older. A Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton knows just how tragic these kinds of accidents can be. Pedestrians are no match for the weight of a car, truck or SUV. When a backover accident has left you injured or taken the life of a loved one, we can help you understand your rights and options. For a free and confidential consultation, please call us today at 813-221-3200 or dial us statewide and toll-free at 866-608-5529.