3 dead, 4 hurt when SUV runs over group in Florida

Published On: Feb 03 2014 06:58:02 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 03 2014 08:49:57 AM EST

Three pedestrians were killed and four others seriously hurt after an elderly woman backed her SUV into a group of people Sunday outside a Florida clubhouse, authorities said.

The crash happened outside the Sugar Creek Country Club at 11:20 a.m. in Bradenton, about 45 miles south of Tampa. Residents had gathered for church services inside the building, which is located in a mobile home community, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Gregory Bueno said.

According to FHP's crash report, the driver, Doreen E. Landstra, 79, of Palmetto, was attempting to back her SUV out of a parking spot. She pulled forward, then back again, hitting a group of people standing in the parking lot. The SUV continued over a curb, hit some trees and went into a canal.

Johanna Dijkhoff, 80, died at the scene. Margaret Vanderlaan, 72, and Wilhemina Paul, 70, died at Blake Memorial Hospital.

Nelly Depooter, 67; Nellie Alice Vlasma, 75; Fred Eringa, 89; and Michael Claus, 71, were transported to Blake Medical Center and Manatee Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.

"It's a tragic, tragic situation," Bueno said. "Every time something like this occurs it breaks your heart."

Landstra and her passenger Fred Landstra, 87, were not hurt.


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