BB truck driver strikes off-duty beach tractor driver at 7-Eleven

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Mark Taylor, right, who drives the beach cleanup tractor on Anna Maria Island, is shown in December with Manatee County Parks and Recreation colleagues Cindy Turner, Mark Parsley and Carmine Demilio. Taylor was hospitalized at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton Jan. 30-Feb. 2 after being struck by a pickup truck at a Bradenton 7-Eleven store. Islander File Photo
Barbara Holtan, 55

Mark Taylor drives a tractor for Manatee County on Anna Maria Island, cleaning up the beaches.

At home and rehabilitating from a Jan. 30 crash, Taylor recounted Feb. 9 how a typical morning at the 59th Street 7-Eleven in Bradenton turned traumatic.

“It was still dark outside. I was just going to pop a movie into the box and go get me a tea,” he said. Then a woman in a truck drove into him.

Taylor was pinned to a Red Box vending machine until the woman put her 2002 Chevrolet Silverado in reverse.

“I remember screaming and beating,” he said, adding the woman kept her foot on the accelerator for what seemed like minutes.

“When she finally let up and pulled into the parking lot, she scratched the county truck,” Taylor said.

The Silverado also hit a car in the 7-Eleven lot, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. No injuries were reported to the vehicle occupants.

An ambulance transported Taylor to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton and a Tampa General Hospital trauma surgeon was called to Blake to operate on his leg, ripped open to the bone, he said.

At 9:21 a.m., the FHP arrested Barbara Holtan, 55, of Bradenton Beach, for driving under the influence/causing serious bodily injury to another and possessing drugs and paraphernalia.

A FHP trooper reported Holtan “visibly swaying and failing to maintain her balance” but no odor of alcohol. A field sobriety test was discontinued due to the concern Holtan would fall, the report stated.

Holtan told the trooper she commonly takes insulin and opiates, morphine, dilaudid and oxycodone. On an inventory of Holtan’s vehicle, a muscle relaxant and a broken pen casing containing white powder were found, according to the FHP report.

Holtan was transported for diabetic issues to Blake Medical Center, where she agreed to provide a urine sample, the report stated. From Blake, FHP transported Holtan to the Manatee County jail.

At her first court appearance, a 12th Circuit judge found probable cause for the charges and set $2,250 bond and approved a pretrial service supervised release. Holtan was released Jan. 31 pending a 9 a.m. Friday, March 3, arraignment.

Taylor was released from the hospital Feb. 2 with instructions for exercise but to “take it slow,” which he says is difficult.

Taylor said, “With spring break coming up, I really want to get back to work.”

He expects his stitches to be removed in two weeks and, in three-four weeks, he’ll be “back in the saddle” on the beach tractor, cleaning trash and litter from the beachfront.

“Wave to me when you see me,” he added.

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