Pedestrian run over in hit-and-run on Gulf Drive

thumb image
Polly Frazer of Pennsylvania runs March 7 near where a pedestrian was struck by a hit-and-run driver in a dark-colored GMC SUV south of 11th Street North on Gulf Drive North in Bradenton Beach. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell

Why aren’t pedestrians safe on Anna Maria Island?

Why aren’t there better crime deterrents?

Or more lights and security cameras on the streets and bridges?

These questions come from a visitor with a crushed leg, foot and back after a vehicle ran him over and sped away from the scene in Bradenton Beach.

David Hargrove of Vermont was struck by a GMC SUV at 11:50 p.m. Feb. 25 in the 1000 block of Gulf Drive North between Summer Sands condominiums and the Gulf Drive Cafe.

The force of the collision stripped off the SUV’s side-view mirror.

Just before the crash, both Hargrove, on foot, and the vehicle were traveling north.

“It was very dark. I don’t remember much of any light,” Hargrove told The Islander in a phone interview from Vermont.

He was crossing the road to the sidewalk on the east side of Gulf Drive when a dark-colored SUV struck him below his ribs from behind. The vehicle then ran over him.

Hargrove noticed the SUV slowing down after hitting him, but then it sped away. He said that as he crawled to the west side of the road, hoping he wouldn’t get run over again, he noticed the vehicle had a “long set of taillights.”

Bystanders heard his cries and called 911.

EMS transported Hargrove to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, where he spent five days on the mend.

The hospital discharged him when he was able to walk on crutches and travel, he said.

“I’m 36. I’m a carpenter. It takes me out of work and driving duties for my family for three months, plus physical therapy. And we’re not insured.”

Hargrove, his wife and 5-year-old son were visiting his mother, who owns a condo in Holmes Beach. They have since returned to Vermont.

He went alone to a Bridge Street restaurant for something to eat and drink while his family stayed at the condo. They were tired from a day on the beach, he said.

Trying to get back to the condo, Hargrove called the Monkey Bus, and arranged a pickup on Bridge Street.

But he became impatient and began walking north “for 10 minutes or so,” he said.

As for what happened next, Hargrove disagrees with a Bradenton Beach police report, which states he crossed from the east to the west side of the street.

He said he crossed from the beach side of Gulf Drive and said his injuries support his version.

It’ll be awhile until he visits the island again, Hargrove added, saying something’s not right in a beach town when a motorist can run into someone, leave the scene and not be held accountable.

“That someone can be run over and left for dead is not a comforting feeling,” he said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz at 941-778-4766. To make an anonymous tip, call CrimeStoppers at 866-634-TIPS.

6 thoughts on “Pedestrian run over in hit-and-run on Gulf Drive

  1. Lynn Rosebrock

    I drive past the Gulf Drive Cafe a lot, but try to avoid the area after dark. The lighting is very poor in this area. Even though there is a cross walk, people don’t always use it. I’m sure there will be more accidents involving cars and pedestrians if something isn’t done about the lighting. Since there isn’t any buildings from Cortez Rd area to the tiki hut, on the West side of the street, please get “turtle friendly” lights.

  2. Gdog

    I agree some pedestrians just step out in front of traffic expecting them to stop. Some are arrogant enough to give you a dirty look if you don’t. To my knowledge, the streets of Anna Maria are not a wide open pedestrian crosswalk. Use the crosswalks or pay attention to the traffic. Make sure they stop before stepping out to cross.

  3. P Grey

    Perhaps Holmes Beach should examine that strange crosswalk by the Gulf Cafe and line it up with a natural place to cross. Also, a flashing light is in order with the number of pedestrians who cross there.

  4. Laurel Nevans

    And there is a crosswalk right by the Gulf Drive Cafe. They exist for a reson. My bet is this guy was running across the street, not in a marked crosswalk. We have done a good job of installing crosswalks on the Island. Now we just need to get folks to actually use them.

  5. Janet Aubry

    I’m surprised this tragedy doesn’t occur more often than it does. We have a lot of cars, pedestrians, biciycles, golf carts, etc. especially at this time of year. They come from all over the country and world where traffic and pedestrian rules may be different than ours. I can see how someone crossing in the dark might not be seen by a normal person driving at the correct rate of speed. I live in terror and fear that I will run over people who materialize out of the dark in front of my car giving me little time to react assuming I can even see them. I have passed the driver’s license eye sight test recently so that tells me there are a lot of drivers in the same boat out there. If the pedestrians cross in the crosswalks – if the drivers are extra cautious around the crosswalks – that would be step one. Residents here are still getting used to crosswalks and that they are being used by people who just walk right out expecting cars to see them and stop like at home. When I’m on foot, I always stand on the crosswalk edge near the roadside until I’m sure the cars see me, see the crosswalk, are slowing down, and at night I wear white clothes and reflectors. Then I cross. None of us want to be “dead right” as the old tv commercial used to say. I suggest we all exercise extreme caution, only cross at the crosswalks, and perhaps add a small blinking red light at every crosswalk to help people find them and to remind drivers they are there especially at night. If all the drivers and all the walkers work together on this we can avoid more tragedies. I know if I hit someone, no matter whose fault, I would feel terrible and it would ruin my life. Worse than that, it might take someone else’s. Maybe a child. We all must become more vigilant.

  6. je

    Anna Maria Island has become Disney World Main street with traffic. Visitors walk in the middle of the street with total disregard of cars? Even if there is a sidewalk they will walk in the middle of the street and expect cars to drive around them into oncoming traffic. It is amazing that there is not more accidents. There will be.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *