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Pedestrian Dies

01/30/2013 at 7:05pm

Pedestrian Dies in Estero Blvd Crosswalk

An Ohio woman has died after being struck by a vehicle while crossing Estero Blvd in a crosswalk at Bay Beach Lane on Fort Myers Beach. Deputies responded to the accident at approximately 6:30 p.m.on January 28, 2013.

Robert and Ann Bandy had been at the beach watching the sunset and were crossing Estero Blvd. Robert, 82, and Ann, 76, of Mentor, Ohio were in Fort Myers Beach visiting friends.

A crash investigation by the Lee County Sheriff's Office Traffic Homicide Unit revealed that the couple was walking across Estero Boulevard from the beach side to the bay side in the pedestrian crosswalk.The couple was struck by a Dodge Grand Caravan traveling northbound on Estero Boulevard driven by Jimmie Imel, 80, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The driver told investigators he was traveling about 25 miles per hour and saw the couple in the crosswalk but was unable to stop.

The victims were transported to the hospital. Ann Bandy later died from her injuries.Robert Bandy was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Imel was cited for violation of a traffic control device (failure to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk).

Investigators are asking anyone that witnessed this accident to contact Corporal Leonard Gould at (239) 477-1636 or the Lee County Sheriff's Office at (239) 477-1000.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach and the Chamber of Commerce each have a Traffic Safety Committee focused on pedestrian safety. The Town Committee presented several proposals to Town Council who passed the requests along to Lee County, the owner of Estero Blvd.

Under construction or in the planning stages are improved lighting for several stretches of the road including near Red Coconut RV Park and near Lenell Rd. , crosswalk bollards (signs in the road) and pedestrian refuges to be built in the center of the road. Banners have been placed at three locations on the island calling attention to pedestrian safety.

Work began this week on the lighting project near Red Coconut.

Town Safety Committee Chair Bruce Butcher reported earlier this month that he had learned that Lee County is rated #8 in the state for most pedestrian fatalities.

The Town Traffic Safety Committee meets on the second Thursday of the month at 9am.

Missy Layfield