Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mother killed, child injured trying to cross Night Heron Road in Land O'Lakes

Susan Lewis, 45, and her son Hayden, 7, were crossing Night Heron Drive to get to Hayden’s bus stop when a driver, who also lives on the Lewis’ street, hit them. Mrs. Lewis died at the scene.  


Susan Lewis, 45, and her son Hayden, 7, were crossing Night Heron Drive to get to Hayden’s bus stop when a driver, who also lives on the Lewis’ street, hit them. Mrs. Lewis died at the scene. 

LAND O'LAKES — Each school morning, Susan Lewis and her 7-year-old son, Hayden, who is autistic, went out of their way to use the crosswalk to get to the school bus stop. They walked two houses north, across Night Heron Drive, then back south, past their home, to the entrance of their community to wait for the bus.

Her neighbors — also stay-at-home moms with children Hayden's age — say Mrs. Lewis, 45, kept to her routine.

As mother and son crossed Night Heron Drive at Ambleside Drive on Wednesday morning, they were hit by a sedan driven by a man who also lives on Lewis' street. The Florida Highway Patrol said Eugene Williams, 64, "failed to observe" Mrs. Lewis and Hayden in the roadway.

Mrs. Lewis died at the scene. Hayden, a second-grader at Lake Myrtle Elementary School, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

Williams, who is a project supervisor with Pasco County's community development department, was not injured. A neighbor said he was devastated.

Sgt. Larry Kraus, spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol, said the agency was still investigating the accident late Wednesday. He said he didn't know if Mrs. Lewis and her son were in the crosswalk.

John Mann, director of communications for Pasco County Schools, said counseling is available for students and staff. Lake Myrtle principal Kara McComeskey said the school, which offers a special program for autistic children, pulled together Wednesday as a family.

"We just want to continue to provide Hayden with support and love," she said. She said the school wants to do whatever it can to help the family.

"We are here for them," McComeskey said.

Mrs. Lewis' husband, Rob Lewis, is an assistant state attorney in Hernando County. They have two other children — both daughters, one who attends Land O'Lakes High School and the other Pine View Middle School.

"It's such a tragedy," said Anna Trzeciak, a friend and neighbor of Mrs. Lewis.

Although the FHP has not said speeding was a factor in the crash, Trzeciak said it is a problem in the neighborhood. Night Heron Drive is the entrance and exit to the upscale community — it's not a quiet side street. Trzeciak said she's been trying to get speed bumps installed on the 20 mph road for years.

Ana Schrader lives between the Trzeciak and Lewis homes.

"What happened to her could have happened to any of us," Schrader said.

Trzeciak couldn't believe her friend was gone.

"She was just a mother taking her son to school."

Times reporters Jeff Solochek, Jodie Tillman, Joel Anderson, Ileana Morales and Times researchers Natalie Watson and Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Erin Sullivan can be reached at

Mother killed, child injured trying to cross Night Heron Road in Land O'Lakes 10/13/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 10:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule: Stanley Cup champion Penguins, expansion Golden Knights among the coming attractions

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's season schedule was released Thursday afternoon, and there are plenty of must-see matchups coming to Amalie Arena. Here are the home games with the most intriguing storylines:

    The champs

    (Oct. 12, Oct. 21)

    The two-time defending champion Penguins make two early trips to Tampa. [AP photo]
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's Brayden Point celebrates a goal during a game against the Ottawa Senators in February in Tampa. [AP photo]
  3. Gay, black leaders speak about finding their place


    When Lillian Dunlap moved to Florida at age 52 in 1999 she could finally breathe. The journalism professor from the University of Missouri and the University of Indiana hadn't been able live openly as a gay woman until then. She had considered coming out before but never did.

    Terri Lipsey Scott (standing) welcomed panelists Bob Devin Jones, Desmond Clark, Lillian Dunlap, Trevor Pettiford and Sheree Greer. Moderator Nadine Smith not pictured.
  4. Bar review: Les Partners Lounge goes old-school in Clearwater

    Bars & Spirits

    There are some local places that I'm shocked aren't more well known, and I think that's the result of a general aversion to stepping out of one's comfort zone. I make regular concerted efforts to step outside of mine, which often leads me to strange and rewarding drinking establishments.

    Les Partners Lounge is an old-school, smoker-friendly cocktail lounge and live music venue tucked away in a nondescript shopping plaza in Island Estates.
  5. Local craft beer of the week: Plongeur a L'eponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.

    Bars & Spirits

    Tarpon Springs' Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. has a somewhat idiosyncratic approach to wild ale brewing, utilizing an open brewing approach involving uncovered fermenters in order to brew beer with local ambient microbes, reminiscent in some ways to the fermentation techniques used by rustic farmhouse breweries in Belgium …

     Plongeur a?€š€™L?ˆš??ponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Company, 6/23/17  Electric Chair Sour Shandy, Angry Chair Brewing, 6/30/17   Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA, Motorworks Brewing 7/7/17
  6. OCTOBER_cokwr_cpzh4_cre1l_chk2m