Two people were struck and killed Monday as they tried to cross State Road 7 in Margate.
The tragedy happened around 12:20 a.m. when Willie Johnson, 63, and his 49-year old girlfriend Laurie Dee Koffarnus were trying to cross the road at Northwest Eighth Street when they were struck by a Toyota Sienna. The bodies landed just feet a part 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,” Waugh said.
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 moved to South Florida 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 more than 20 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, and without help from the city, they say it won’t be the last.
Beachum said section of State Road 7 where the couple tried to cross is 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,” Waugh said.