SOUTH PASADENA — A 78-year-old woman died Wednesday after a Pinellas sheriff's deputy driving an unmarked cruiser struck her motorized scooter.
Authorities said Mary Henesy was trying to cross Pasadena Avenue S at Mango Avenue S when the cruiser hit her about 4:10 p.m.
"He hit her so hard she flew," said Sarah Hogan, who saw the accident from her kitchen window at a nearby apartment complex. "His car came to a stop and her body went flying."
Sheriff's officials said Sgt. David Danzig, 34, who's been with the agency for 12 years, was on his way home when he hit Henesy, who was in the median lane.
Hogan said people from her apartment complex rushed to the woman's aid. Henesy was conscious but very dazed, said Rex Fisher, who stayed with her until paramedics arrived.
An ambulance took her to Bayfront Medical Center, where she died shortly before 8 p.m.
The impact mangled the woman's chair, which landed several feet from the cruiser.
Koryn Blevins was on her balcony smoking a cigarette when she heard the brakes.
"I saw the unmarked car hit the wheelchair," the 22-year-old said. "The lady went flying. She hit the ground then rolled a couple times."
Nearby residents expressed outrage that a law enforcement officer had hit the woman. Henesy lived at Serenity Towers, a complex less than a mile away from where she was hit.
"It wasn't congested. It was pretty much just the cop on the road," Hogan said.
Reach Kameel Stanley at (727) 893-8643 or firstname.lastname@example.org.