Driver in crash that killed 2 faces no criminal charges
The woman who hit a couple's car, causing it to veer into a pond where they drowned, will be cited for running a light, police say.
By JACOB H. FRIES
Published July 25, 2006
CLEARWATER - The driver involved in a July 13 crash that sent an elderly couple's car into a pond where they died will not face criminal charges, police said Monday.
Instead, Edith Odijk, 61, of Clearwater will receive a citation for running a red light, which carries a fine of $182.50.
"After close examination, there was no criminal conduct on the part of anyone in this accident," police spokesman Wayne Shelor said. "It's sad and it's regrettable, but this is the appropriate charge."
Police also said Monday that preliminary autopsy results indicate that Roderick Wood, 92, and Effie Wood, 87, died by drowning.
The wreck occurred about 9:30 a.m. on July 13 as Odijk drove north on Belcher Road and collided with the Woods, who were leaving Gulf-to-Bay Plaza, police have said. After the impact, the Woods' Ford Taurus careened across the road, jumped a curb and slid into the retention pond next to Lakeside Mobile Home Park.
Their car sank fast, trapping the couple inside as passers-by tried to open the doors. The Woods were eventually pulled from the submerged vehicle and pronounced dead at Morton Plant Hospital.
Odijk, meanwhile, was taken to Mease Dunedin Hospital with minor injuries and released later on the same day. When reached by phone Monday, she declined to talk about the incident.
[Last modified July 24, 2006, 20:46:57]
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