MARGATE (CBSMiami) – Two people were struck and killed as they tried to cross State Road 7 in Margate.
The accident happened around 12:20 a.m. Willie Johnson, 63, and his girlfriend, 49-year old Laurie Dee Koffarnus, were trying to cross the road at NW 8th Street when they were struck by a Toyota Sienna. The bodies landed just feet apart from each other.
Convenience store owner Glenn Waugh heard the crash and called police.
“I said ‘Oh my God, I know them, I know them’ because they was in the store maybe 20, 30 minutes before,” said Waugh.
The driver of the van, identified as 52-year old Dalia Amanda, said she doesn’t know how it happened.
“I don’t know where they came out of, I just didn’t see them,” said a tearful Amanda.
She was questioned by police. So far no charges have been filed.
Johnson’s daughter, Oletha Beachum, said her father and Koffarnus had moved down from Daytona Beach on Mother’s Day and had been staying with her.
“He was a good hearted passionate man and I’m going to miss him very much,” said Beachum who now wears her father’s ring and chain close to her heart. “He had a heart of gold. He don’t mind doing anything to help you if he can.”
Beachum said her father had five children along with twenty-plus grandkids and great grandkids who will miss him.
“I wish he could come back, but I know he’s not,” she said.
Those who live in this area say this is not the first tragedy around here, and without help from the city, they say it won’t be the last. Beauchum said section of SR7 where the couple tried to cross is very dangerous. Waugh agreed and added that others have been hit around there before.
“We definitely need a stop light somewhere because the stop light is too far away and this is a very busy neighborhood,” said Waugh.
CBS4 left messages for Margate’s mayor and city commissioners as to whether they were planning to make the area more pedestrian-friendly. One commissioner responded saying she believes the city will look into the issue.
Today, police on motorcycles periodically patrolled the area. They stopped a few pedestrians and gave warnings about the dangers of crossing in heavy traffic.
Beachum said her father did not have insurance leaving her to pay for the funeral expenses. If you would like to help, email email@example.com.