Longboat Key man walks into traffic, dies

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Longboat Key police respond May 8 to a fatal pedestrian accident in the 6800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key. Islander Photo: Kathy Prucnell

A man on his 85th birthday was on his morning walk.

Warren Roberts, 85, of Longboat Key, died at 6 a.m. May 8 after he entered the path of two northbound vehicles in the 6800 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

Roberts was walking west from the east side of the Gulf of Mexico Drive near the Whitney Beach Plaza, the report stated.

Longboat Key police responded at 6:02 a.m., closed Gulf of Mexico Drive between the 6700 block and Broadway Street and posted a screen and perimeter around the deceased. The FHP arrived at 9:15 a.m.

“He was out on his morning walk,” Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming said, who added it was his birthday.

“That’s just what he does. His wife told him to take his hearing aid, but he forgot it and got hit.”

A 2016 Hyundai Tuscan that was the first vehicle to strike Roberts was totaled in the accident, according to the FHP.

The Hyundai was driven by Richard Sullo, 71, of Palmetto, who was transported to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton due to chest pains after the collision, the report stated.

FHP reported a second vehicle, a 2008 Mercedes ML 350, also struck Roberts after the first collision.

The motorist, Cheri Zupa, 41, of Longboat Key, and a 15-year-old passenger, were in the Mercedes SUV, according to the report.

No charges were issued.

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