Woman, 78, walks in traffic, is killed

By Times Staff Writer
Published March 25, 2006

TAMPA - A woman was killed Friday morning after she wandered into traffic and was hit by a car.

Flora M. Burdine, 78, was killed at the scene. Police say she walked into traffic at about 8:45 a.m. on Tampa Street near Columbus Drive, where a driver swerved and avoided her. Police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said Burdine may have panicked; instead of jumping back toward the sidewalk, she leaped into Tampa Street's middle lane, where another car swerved and avoided her.

Finally, she moved into the one-way street's third lane, where a Toyota Camry struck her and dragged her several feet, McElroy said.

Police say Gabriel Nelson Torres, 22, was driving the car. He was on his way to take an employment test, McElroy said, and won't be charged in the accident. But he will face a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license, she said.

Driving records show he has been cited numerous times for driving infractions, including careless driving. At one point, he had earned 12 points on his license in 12 months, records show.