NORTH PORT (WWSB) - Family and friends are mourning the loss of 81-year-old George Almeder and 79-year-old Rosalie Almeder. The couple were killed Sunday night when a car driven by a 20-year-old woman slammed into them. Police say alcohol and speed are likely factors in this crash.
“These folks that have lost their lives over this over senseless, somebody not paying attention and potentially drinking and driving, it’s unfortunate anytime,” said Josh Taylor, a spokesperson for the North Port Police Department.
The crash happened at the intersection of US 41 and West Villages Parkway around the time the game had let up at the new Atlanta Braves baseball stadium. The Almeders had stopped on US 41 as Sarasota County Sheriff deputies were allowing cars to enter the highway from the road that leads to the stadium. That’s when the car pummeled into the Almeder’s car causing a chain reaction crash that involved two other cars and an unmanned deputy motorcycle.
We’re being told the condition of the woman who caused the crash is non-life threatening and the condition of people in the other cars is unknown.
Bob Creer lives in the IslandWalk at the West Villages development nearby. He tells us this intersection is very dangerous and now deadly.
“I’m almost their same age and it’s just so needless,” said Creer,
Creer believes blinking lights at the intersection or a traffic signal may have helped. The Florida Department of Transportation says it’s up to the developer to install a traffic signal at that intersection. The West Villages group says there had been plans to install a signal over the next few months.
“In this case, the department permitted the developer to install a traffic signal at the location,” said Brian Rick, spokesperson for FDOT.
George and Rosalie Almeder had been married for 60 years. They are the parents of eight boys.
The name of the person who caused this crash has yet to be released because this is an ongoing investigation. Since alcohol could be a factor in this crash, she may soon face criminal charges.