87-year-old Hit and Killed by 92-year-old Driver

An elderly woman was struck and killed Thursday morning on her walk home from a local grocery store.

Store owner, Mike Mikhail, reported 87-year-old Dorothy Rutter as a regular. She was a resident of Palm Lakes Village. Happy Foods Store in Dunedin was one of the only places the residents could visit. “They don’t have rides. They don’t have cars. The only place they can come to is this plaza here”, said Mikhail.

As she attempted to cross County Road 1 on her way back to Palm Lakes Village at about 9:20 a.m., Rutter was struck by a Toyota. The driver of the Toyota was 92-year-old Sarah W. Berkowitz of Clearwater.

“I went over here and looked, and I see her laying in the street,” said Happy Foods Store clerk, Sue Vassallo.

Rutter was flown to Bayfront Medical Center where she died from injuries around 3 p.m.

Berkowitz was not injured.      

Investigators have not deemed speeding or alcohol influence to be the cause of the accident. However, Palm Lakes Tenant President, Barbara Rasmussen believes the lack of a crosswalk is to blame. She has been urging the city and county to install a crosswalk over County Road 1 for over 2 years.

City officials say there is a plan to have a crosswalk with flashing lights to signal to drivers when someone is crossing the street. According to e-mails from the city of Dunedin, a crosswalk has been in the works since November 2010. However, the city is still waiting for the permit to be approved by the county.