Immokalee accident kills mother, critically injures child

A mother pushing her 2-year-old daughter in a stroller along Roberts Avenue in Immokalee was killed and the child was critically injured Saturday night when they were struck by a vehicle from behind.

Shirley Ann Moody, 70, of Fort Myers, did not see the two walking east “on the roadway near the edge,” according to the Florida Highway Patrol report. Neither pedestrian has been identified yet, pending notification of next of kin.

“Technically, this was both of their fault,” said FHP troop shift commander Lt. Paul France. “Pedestrians are supposed to walk against traffic. And the law states that a driver should use due care to avoid pedestrians.”

However, France said that Moody would probably not be facing criminal charges, but likely only a traffic citation. In addition, the driver’s visibility would be taken into consideration.

“It happened at 7:30 p.m., so it had probably just gotten dark there,” he said. “And I don’t know if there are streetlights in that area.”

The report says Moody’s 1990 Buick struck the mother pushing the stroller from behind, throwing both her and the stroller in an easterly direction, with both of them coming to rest in the south shoulder of Roberts Avenue west of 11th Street.

The mother was pronounced dead at the scene, and the girl was first transported by helicopter to Lee Memorial Hospital. Later Saturday night, she was flown to Tampa Children’s Hospital.

France called the incident a “senseless death” since the mother would have been safe if she were walking on street’s opposite site. He said the mother was walking with her boyfriend, who was holding an 18-month-old child. They were uninjured because they were on the road’s shoulder, France said.

Moody and her passenger, 72-year-old Richard E. Banke, were also uninjured in the incident. But the report says that the impact caused about $500 worth of damage to her vehicle.

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