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Brooksville woman killed in 1-car crash

The mother of three is the third person in about a week to die in such an accident in the county.

By JAMIE MALERNEE

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 25, 2000


BROOKSVILLE -- A fatal car accident has left three children without a mother after a Brooksville woman lost control of her car and crashed it into an oak tree.

Lori Susan Dukes, 36, of 710 Hammock Road is the third person to die in such a manner in about a week in Hernando County. She was driving east on Fort Dade Avenue at 1:25 a.m. Tuesday when her 1998 Buick slammed into a tree, a Florida Highway Patrol report said. Officials did not release details about why the crash occurred, although the report stated that Dukes was not wearing her seat belt. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dukes' mother, Joyce Kell, described her daughter as a good cook who doted on her children, ages 8, 16 and 19.

"She loved her kids to death," Kell said. "They would go fishing at Jenkins Creek and Rogers Park."

Dukes was a stay-at-home mom who had separated from her husband, Mack Dukes, and lived with her mother. Kell said her daughter probably was headed home Tuesday when the crash occurred but said she did not know where Dukes had been.

"She was probably just out riding," Kell said.

A week before Dukes' accident, two people were killed when the car a 15-year-old was driving swerved off Cedar Lane in Brooksville and hit a tree. Danea Watts and her cousin Petitte Badger, 26, died at the scene. They, too, were not wearing seat belts. Highway patrol officials still are investigating that accident.

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