On Friday, February 28, a man named Ricky Polk was driving through Brandon
on his way to work as he observed two women panicking on the side of the
road, both of them jumping up and down and crying.
Polk then felt his car strike something and he saw a figure in the rear-view
mirror. Polk explained, “And I said to myself, ‘That felt
like a body.’”
The driver pulled to the side of the roadway and immediately got out of
his car. He frantically attempted to wave the other drivers on E Bloomingdale
Avenue away from the injured pedestrian. Just moments later, another driver
ran over him before stopping as well. A total of two more drivers ran
over the victim, but kept going.
Ronald J. Sandalic was the pedestrian who was killed after being hit by
a first car and then run over by four other drivers while lying in the
road. Sandalic, a 57-year-old homeless man, was dressed in dark clothing
as he tried to walk south across Bloomingdale Avenue around 4:30 a.m.
near Maze Lane, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Madison A. Dvorak, age 19, who was eastbound in a 2005 Ford Focus, struck
Sandalic, throwing the man nearly 70 feet to a spot in the middle of the
roadway. As Dvorak stopped to dial 911, Polk approached in his 2005 Toyota
Tacoma pickup and struck Sandalic, deputies noted. Polk then stopped,
got out, and tried to wave drivers away from the injured man.
Sandalic was struck a third time by a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria, according
to investigators. The driver, John Gallagher, age 57, of Valrico stopped
and waited for authorities to arrive. Sandalic was then hit by two pickup
truck drivers who sped away without stopping, deputies said. The accident
prompted deputies to detour traffic in the area for several hours.
Pedestrian accidents involving that many vehicles are quite uncommon, but they do happen on
roadways that are busy or have particularly dark spots, according to sheriff’s
spokesman Larry McKinnon.
Tampa Bay Times