Man who struck, killed 6-year old also struck pair in Mandarin | News
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local family is reliving the horror of a 2009 pedestrian accident that claimed the life of their 6-year-old daughter.
Dena and Tony Grossie learned that four years after 66-year-old Michael Fortunato struck and killed Kaitlyn Springer, he allegedly struck two other pedestrians less than a mile from where their daughter was hit.
"It makes me sick to my stomach that somebody else has lost their life by the same person," said Dena Grossie.
Four Christmases have come and gone since 6-year-old Kaitlyn was killed.
"I'm still trying to cope with it. My daughter would have been 10 and just to think what she would have been like and those years that I've missed, that I could have had with her, just by somebody being impatient and not paying attention," said Grossie.
It was December 19, 2009.
Dena Grossie was doing some Christmas shopping with her children and was crossing the street at the crosswalk on San Jose Boulevard and Kori Road.
"The light had just turned red and we ran across and we barely made it halfway. As soon as the light turned green that Michael Fortunato gassed and it and just floored it and ran over us all," said Grossie.
Fortunato was not charged for the 2009 accident, instead, the family said they were told by the City and law enforcement they were at fault.
"Even though Michael Fortunato had a list of driving record, it was my fault that my daughter was killed because I didn't push the button," said Grossie.
Duval County Court Records show Fortunato has a history of driving violations dating back to 1996 for careless driving, running a stop sign and driving without a license -- among others.
Grossie said she didn't push the crosswalk button because she was guiding herself through the traffic light. Her son was in the stroller while Kaitlyn held her hand as they crossed, according to Grossie.
"It's been difficult because they were so close. I mean he's doing well under the circumstances," added Grossie.
The Grossie's fought to create change, but their lawsuit against the city went nowhere. They are still hoping for change.
"They always say that the pedestrians have the right of way and the drivers of vehicles are supposed to drive with caution through a green light and he [Fortunato] did not," Grossie said.
Fortunato is being investigated by Florida Highway Patrol for another incident Friday at San Jose Blvd and Haley Road where two other pedestrians were stuck.
Esther Oyahon, 57, died at the scene and her daughter Orly Oyahon, 16, was transported to UF Health Jacksonville in critical condition. Sunday evening she was upgraded to stable condition.
A toxicology test was conducted at the scene and the results are pending.
At this time, Fortunato has not charged with a crime.
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