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Woman dies from accident injuries

The two-vehicle crash on U.S. 19 was the county's second fatal crash involving an elderly Homosassa woman within a week.

By BILL VARIAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 11, 2000


SUGARMILL WOODS -- A 100-year-old Homosassa woman died Thursday from injuries sustained in a crash on U.S. 19 the day before, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Nina Ruth Parrish of Wildermuth Point in Homosassa was a passenger in a car driven by her octogenarian daughter, who traffic crash investigators said cut off another vehicle while trying to make a turn.

It was the second motor-vehicle death involving an elderly Homosassa woman in a week. The Citrus County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Irene Kelsey Pellerin, 74, of 5551 S Delilah Point, Homosassa, was killed Nov. 4 in a single-car crash in a residential area.

Pellerin died about an hour after the crash, said Gail Tierney, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office. Parrish was initially treated at Citrus Memorial Hospital, where she died.

The two fatalities bring to 26 the number of people killed in 23 car crashes on Citrus County roadways in 2000. In 1999, 28 people were killed in 25 automobile accidents.

In the latest crash, the Highway Patrol said Dorothy Winters Rowland, whose exact age was not provided, of Newland, N.C., was driving south in the outside lane of U.S. 19 at West Cypress Boulevard about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday when she attempted to make a left turn. Her 1996 Jeep collided with a 1999 Mercury traveling in the inside lane that was overtaking Rowland's vehicle. The Jeep overturned after the impact and both cars were totaled, according to a Highway Patrol release.

Rowland remained in stable condition Friday afternoon at Citrus Memorial Hospital. She has been cited by the Highway Patrol with making an improper lane change, according to the release. Both she and her mother were wearing seat belts.

The driver of the Mercury was identified as Michelle Lynn Townsend, age not provided, of 9828 W Seven Rivers Farm St., Crystal River. Her car carried three passengers: Tara Gayheart, 16, of Lecanto; Carley Martin, 14, of Crystal River; and Shayna Demangme, 14, of Beverly Hills. Townsend and Gayheart were listed with minor injuries in the Highway Patrol release. They also were wearing seat belts.

In the Nov. 4 crash, a Sheriff's Office report indicates that Pellerin was driving north on South Memorial Drive in the Green Acres area when she left the roadway. She continued north parallel to the road for 579 feet before striking a tree at the right front of her 1997 Toyota.

Alcohol is not suspected in the crash and Pellerin's car was estimated to be traveling about 30 mph. The Sheriff's Office is awaiting the results of an autopsy.

"Pending the outcome of the medical examiner's report, there's a belief or possibility that it was a result of some sort of medical problem that the driver experienced," Tierney said.

Pellerin was wearing a seat belt.

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