Car hits pedestrian near crosswalk

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Parts of a shoe are strewn between the road and the sidewalk after a vehicle hit a 23-year-old woman Oct. 12 in the 900 block of Gulf Drive North in Bradenton Beach. Islander Photo: Courtesy BBPD

Witnesses on the street at 9:57 p.m. Oct. 12 called 911 after a car-pedestrian crash — injuring a 23-year-old Virginia woman — in the 900 block of Gulf Drive North in Bradenton Beach.

The accident occurred when a green Nissan SUV, traveling southbound, struck Alexandra P. Matheny of Palmyra, Virginia, as she and her boyfriend were crossing the street to the beach, according to Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz of Bradenton Beach Police Department.

Patty Shay of Bradenton Beach, one of the witnesses, said the crash was “so loud it sounded like a car hitting a car.”

The vehicle was driven by a Bradenton woman, who had looked down in her purse “for a second,” Diaz said.

The woman’s boyfriend tried to pull her from the street before the vehicle hit her, according to the BBPD report.

EMS transported the woman to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, where an officer reported he saw her “up and coherent and going in for a CT scan,” Diaz said.

The detective blamed the accident on a dark street due to an inoperable street light and pedestrians crossing without taking time to walk to a nearby crosswalk.

13 thoughts on “Car hits pedestrian near crosswalk

  1. Bob Newburn

    As a person who has read all of the statements provided to law enforcement regarding this incident I can assure you that at no time in any statement did the driver say that she “looked into her purse for a second”.

  2. C hajduk

    We have taken our lives into our own hands when we cross our street at 22nd and Gulf Drice near the big curve in the road. Bradenton Beach needs to have a flashing sign installed south of the curve in the northbound lane on Gulf drive that lights up when a button is oresses. We have been almost hit many times. Many people stay in the two hotels right there and cross the street in fear of their lives. We are crossing at the street entrance. There are no crosswalks anywhere near there.

  3. Buddy Odom

    I travel 11 counties in SW FL in my work. Unfortunately, I see this in every town I work my way through. Major highways, main streets, you name it people cross very dangerous roads. Vehicles are traveling over the speed limit and the roads are so crowded there is every reason why FL has this happen all over the state every day. The majority of people riding bikes ride as if there is no one else on the road but them…….

  4. Trevor W. Frith

    Notwithstanding the tragedy of this crash, one must ask, would the Google car have stopped in time? What if there was a way this driver could have started the braking ¾ of a second sooner and stopped 30 – 40 feet shorter, perhaps in an even shorter distance than the Google car. There is. Sad that those in charge of driver legislation and training refuse to teach student drivers the safer (But girly!) left foot braking method and ban driving instructors from teaching the very complicated and difficult to mentally maintain especially for older drivers (over 40!), inefficient(poor stopping distance) and dangerous (right foot pedal errors) right foot braking on automatic transmission cars. See DOT HS 811 597, 812 058and 812 431. NHTSA insists on calling it “pedal misapplication” and always blames the driver rather than their beloved right foot braking method. Score to date 150,000 dead, millions injured, and billions in costs. The price men both in and out of government are apparently willing to pay to maintain their systemic belief in right foot braking on automatic cars even though they have zero scientific justification. As one transportation “expert” said “That’s the way it’s always been taught”! This is not about who has the safer braking method but rather why they refuse to scientifically compare the two methods! Was it driver error or the way we taught them to brake?

  5. D. Leo

    Oh, no driver culpabilty? That area always has pedestrians crossing…in and out of the crosswalk…and a driver’s full attention on the roadway is essential, especially at night.

  6. BBResident

    They really need to move the crosswalk there going from the trolley stop to the tiki hut. No one ever uses the crosswalk when going or leaving the bar, it’s so dangerous.

  7. Kathy Smart

    Unfortunately, this is something that I am surprised does not happen more often. I work at the S&S Plaza in Holmes Beach. I watch people cross Gulf Drive daily five feet from the crosswalk. I certainly do not feel that this poor woman deserved what happened to her, but it’s time people started following the laws for pedestrians. Perhaps a few “Jay Walking” tickets distributed for one weekend would put a stop to this?
    The bikes….good Lord! A simple list of bike laws passed out when renting bikes might be a good idea as well. So often, riders follow no laws at all! Bikes are to follow the same rules as autos. They are not to ride across crosswalks, pass on the right, or decide that at intersections they become pedestrians.
    Our little island is fast becoming a mecca for walkers and bicycles. This is fine. However, laws must be followed. Consequences for breaking these laws must be enforced. I know that if a policeman were there and I drove thru a crosswalk while a pedestrian were entering it, I would be sure to receive a ticket and a stiff fine, as I should, isn’t it time to put a stop to those walking and biking breaking nationwide laws as well? Perhaps The Islander could publish pedestrian and bicycle laws?

    1. Laurel Nevans

      Kathy Smart–you hit the nail on the head there. In FL, a pedestrian is “at fault” in an accident if s/he s even 1 foot outside the crosswalk. It’s similar in other states. I think only California gives the right of way to pedestrians in the roadway, but folks all seem to think that bikes and walkers have the right of way over cars on a busy, dark street. They walk down the middle of Holmes Blvd, wearing dark clothing, when there is a perfectly good sidewalk. It is not the driver’s fault when pedestrians break the law. As one who has successfully advocated for additional crosswalks in HB, to increase pedestrian safety, I’d like to see folks use them. (And those who stop and wave folks across when there is a crosswalk 5 feet away are part of the problem. Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, ALWAYS, but do not encourage behavior that may get them run down.)


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