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Car hits triplets playing in front yard, one dies

HUDSON — One of three triplets who were hit by a car in their front yard died Saturday morning.

It happened at about 8 p.m. Friday on King Manor Avenue, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Delaney Rossman, 5, was playing with her sisters, Gabrielle Rossman and Isabella Rossman and a neighbor, 9-year-old Marissa Manuli, when a 1995 Jeep sped out of the driveway at 12910 King Manor Ave. and skidded across the road, troopers said.

The driver was identified as 39-year-old Betty-Jo Tagerson, of Hudson.

Troopers said Tagerson drove onto the road's left shoulder, striking a mailbox at 12906 King Manor Ave., continued southeast into the neighboring lot, hit a parked 2005 Chevy pickup truck and then hit the little girls, who were playing in Marissa's front yard. Tagerson and the triplets also live on King Manor Avenue, a short, narrow street in Country Club Estates off U.S. 19.

After hitting the truck, Tagerson was thrown from her car and into the driveway at 12904 King Manor Ave., but her Jeep kept going, traveling across the street and hitting a parked van, troopers said.

Tagerson was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with serious injuries. Gabrielle Rossman went to St. Joseph's in critical condition, and Delaney Rossman was pronounced dead at the hospital at 8:40 a.m.

FHP spokesman Sgt. Larry Kraus said Isabella Rossman had minor scratches, and Marissa Nanuli was treated and released from Bayonet Point Hospital.

Kraus said investigators are treating the crash as a criminal case because there was a death, and charges are pending.

He said troopers were waiting for Tagerson's toxicology results.

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Car hits triplets playing in front yard, one dies 11/05/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 6, 2010 6:24pm]
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