Broward County

Runner in training dies after A1A crash

Her life ended just as she found happiness in South Florida, reveling in long runs in the sun and spending time with her new boyfriend, whose family she was eager to meet.

Amanda Elizabeth Antinoro, 25, moved with her mother from New York to Hollywood in February. The runner in training for an upcoming Virginia marathon met her boyfriend in May, volunteered with groups that help turtles and feral cats, and moved into her own apartment near Fort Lauderdale beach last week.

Just before 7 a.m. Sunday, on her way to a beachside jog, Antinoro was crossing State Road A1A at East Sunrise Boulevard when a car struck her. She was rushed to Broward General Medical Center, where she died that evening.

"In my mind, I picture that the last thing that she saw was the beach and the sunrise," said her grieving mother, Elizabeth Antinoro, 51, of Hollywood.

A 2009 Honda driven by Whitney Bryce Gibbs, who will turn 27 on Friday, was in the right southbound lane of A1A when it struck Antinoro, Fort Lauderdale police spokesman Frank Sousa said.

Gibbs, who has a prior DUI conviction and faces a pending DUI charge from last year, stayed at the scene and waited for officers to arrive. No charges from Sunday's crash have been filed against him, and the investigation may take six months to a year.

Elizabeth Antinoro described how her eldest daughter will never become a registered dietitian, as she had hoped.

Amanda Antinoro, a native of Fairport, N.Y., obtained a bachelor's degree in communication and psychology in June 2007 from University at Buffalo-the State University of New York.

Antinoro planned to enroll in graduate school to become a dietitian, but in the meantime, she had two jobs, as a café employee and a restaurant hostess in the Fort Lauderdale area.

She had proven herself as a runner by participating in two full marathons, covering the 26.2 miles in about 4.5 hours each time. She ran races in Rochester, N.Y., Naples and Fort Myers, and won awards and trophies for her age group.

She volunteered with animal-friendly groups, including Dania Beach-based Cat Pals, a cat rescue and feeding organization.

"Anything that possesses a heartbeat, she always put before herself," said her boyfriend, Andrew Morgan, 26, of Dania Beach.

This past weekend, as Morgan was returning from his hometown of Chicago, he told Antinoro his parents were looking forward to meeting her. "It made her happy to know that," he said.

It was unclear where Gibbs, the driver, was headed when his car struck and killed Antinoro. The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, where he works, is a half-mile south of the site.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Gibbs obtained a bachelor's degree in political science from Florida State University in 2007. He was living in a Lauderdale-by-the-Sea condo as recently as last year. A woman at his listed address said Wednesday he no longer lives there.

A separate DUI case from November is pending against Gibbs in Miami-Dade County, and he has pleaded not guilty.

His Coral Gables attorney, Michelle Estlund, could not be reached for comment Thursday despite a message left with an aide at her office.

He has one prior DUI conviction from a hit-and-run case involving property damage in Tallahassee, state records show.

While his driver's license was valid at the time of Sunday's crash, Gibbs lost his license in 2006 because of the Tallahassee DUI and got it back in February 2009, the records show.

Gibbs declined to comment Wednesday through a co-worker at the Hilton, where he works as a manager, according to Gibbs' online work profile. He tried to have hotel security remove a reporter from the premises.

Through the week, news of Antinoro's death spread to her friends across the country.

Emily Dygve, a special-education teacher in Falls Church, Va., said she "will be extremely missed."

"She was caring, kind, hilarious, beautiful, and the best friend anyone could ask for," she said.

When Antinoro died at the hospital, she bequeathed one last expression of her giving nature.

"She donated all her organs," Elizabeth Antinoro said. "She was able to help a lot of people."

Aside from her mother, Antinoro is survived by her father, Tony Antinoro, of Fairport, N.Y.; her brother, Frank, 23; and her sister, Carly, 20.

Antinoro's body will be flown to Fairport, N.Y., and a public viewing is scheduled for Sunday. Instead of flowers, the family requests donations to Cat Pals Inc.

Anyone with information about the crash can call Traffic Homicide Investigator Donald Goedke at 954-828-5754 or Broward County Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-TIPS (8477).

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