UPDATE: William Roney died Friday from his injuries, according to Florida Highway Patrol.
Drivers born during World War I ended or drastically altered the life of three Florida teenagers this week.
A gofundme page has been set up for Western High sophomore Melani Rivera’s medical expenses after the 16-year-old was struck walking to her bus stop Thursday morning in the 8200 block of Nova Drive. Social media posts by relatives say she has undergone two emergency brain surgeries.
Behind the wheel of the 2007 Jeep Compass SUV striking Rivera, Davie police told the Sun Sentinel, was 100-year-old Rosamond Preseau. A WPLG-Channel 10 report says Preseau drove a short distance before U-turning back to the scene. According to Broward records, Preseau’s driving record remains clean through her time in Davie, where she has lived since at least 1969.
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A similarly clean driving record — no citations or crashes — belonged to 99-year-old Walter Roney, a spokesman for Michigan’s Secretary of State told told TCPalm.com. And, the spokesman told The Associated Press, Roney recently passed his vision, paper and road tests in Michigan on Jan. 8 after someone told the Secretary of State’s office that medical problems made Roney an unsafe driver.
The warning proved more prophetic than the tests. Roney killed Fort Pierce teenagers and best friends, 18-year-old Sankia Feketa and 17-year-old Brittany Poindexter, Tuesday night while driving his recreational vehicle on the wrong side of State Road 70, the Florida Highway Patrol told the AP. The teenagers were traveling in the eastbound lanes.
Roney was going west in the eastbound lanes and appeared to be doing so without his headlights, according to the FHP. His 75-year-old girlfriend told investigators the lights worked when she was driving earlier in the day.