Driver Backs Out of Spot, Hits 7, Kills 3

Then hit a curb, some trees, and ended up in a canal

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Feb 6, 2014 9:25 AM CST

(Newser) – A 79-year-old woman mistakenly backed into seven people in a parking lot with her SUV Sunday, killing three of them and injuring four. The Florida Highway Patrol said yesterday that Doreene Landstra of Palmetto has been ordered to appear in court next month after receiving a citation for improper backing. The collision happened at a mobile home community about 45 miles south of Tampa. Residents had gathered for church services inside a clubhouse building. According to a police report, Landstra began backing her 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV out of a parking space, pulled forward when she realized she needed more room to clear another parked vehicle, and then struck the seven people when she began to back up again.

The AP previously reported that the Tahoe then proceeded to run over a curb, collide with some small trees, and come to rest in a canal, partially submerged. A trooper and witnesses said that the driver apparently thought she had the car in drive—and not reverse—when she pressed the gas pedal.

In this March 29, 2011 photo, a Chevrolet Tahoe sits in a parking spot in Biloxi, Miss.
In this March 29, 2011 photo, a Chevrolet Tahoe sits in a parking spot in Biloxi, Miss.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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