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Woman killed trying to cross road at night

The 71-year-old woman dies on U.S. 19 and is the fifth fatality this year in Pasco.

By MATTHEW WAITE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 22, 2002

HOLIDAY -- Just blocks from her home, 71-year-old Katherine Doland was struck and killed as she tried to cross U.S. 19 near Sunray Drive on Sunday night.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, Doland was trying to cross north of Sunray, a short distance from her home at 4704 Aegean Ave. The report said that at 8:17 p.m. she walked into the path of a southbound Geo driven by 23-year-old Fred Messerschmidt of Palm Harbor.

Doland was pronounced dead at the scene. Messerschmidt was not injured.

The Times could not determine on Monday whether Doland had immediate family, but her neighbors said she was a good neighbor who always had a kind word for a passer-by.

Dannie Flynn, who lived next door, said Doland made fast friends with his family when the Flynns moved in their house two years ago. Flynn said Doland even liked his Rottweilers in his back yard.

"She made us feel welcome," Flynn said. "We felt like we belonged somewhere."

Doland is the 70th pedestrian to be killed on U.S. 19 since 1990, and is the first pedestrian killed there this year. In 2001, a record 11 people were killed along west Pasco's busiest roadway.

Like 74 percent of all other deaths, Doland was killed at night, on a stretch of U.S. 19 without streetlights.

Doland is the first person to be killed at Sunray Drive since 1990. Two other road fatalities occurred less than two-tenths of a mile south of Sunray at Darlington Road during the same time period, a Times analysis of pedestrian deaths found.

She was the fifth fatality in Pasco County so far in 2002. Last year was another record, with 107 fatalities on Pasco roadways.

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