Bradenton community in mourning after tragic accident - WFLA News Channel 8

Bradenton community in mourning after tragic accident

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Sugar Creek Country Club Sugar Creek Country Club
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A Bradenton community is still in mourning two days after a woman accidentally ran over three people, killing them.

On Sunday morning, 79-year-old Doreen Landstra was leaving church when she lost control of her car and hit a group of people before falling into a canal. Three women died and four others were hurt.

Pastor Gerrit Koedoot had just wrapped up a sermon late Sunday morning at the Sugar Creek Country Club when it happened.

"I didn't really know how to pray. What can you tell God under circumstances like that?" Koedoot asked.

Two days later, the community is still in shock. News Channel 8 was asked to stay off the property. Our media partners at SNN Local News spoke with Doreen Landstra's son Joel Smitter.

"She's torn up, she can't talk to anybody. She's just totally, totally dumbfounded at how this happened," said Smitter.

He said his mother was a longtime choir director at the church, and she's a good driver.

"She doesn't understand at all how this could've happened," Smitter said.

Pastor Koedoot has been spending the past few days consoling the broken.

"Even today I'm still overwhelmed by the realities of it all," Koedoot said.

He has heard from people all over North America expressing their support and prayers. He plans to hold a special service on Sunday for reconciliation, prayer and healing.

Koedoot said Landstra does not deserve any blame.

"She is overwhelmed by this, I don't think that maybe it has even sunk in all the way as to what awful things really were the results of this accident," Koedoot said. "She's going to have to bear this burden of the trauma for many, many years as long as the Lord gives her life here on Earth."

News Channel 8 went to the home of Doreen Landstra in Palmetto. A man answered the door and started crying.

He said the family is going through a very tough time right now, and he simply asked for prayers.

Of the four people injured in the accident, two are still being treated and one of them was listed in the ICU.

One man was released and a fourth victim was unlisted.


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