Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Elderly woman hit by car and killed during late-night walk in Brandon

RIVERVIEW — A 72-year-old woman crossing a dark, four-lane road in front of her assisted living center died Thursday night when a passing car struck her.

Julia F. Jacobsen had been the first to sign a lease at the new facility on Bloomingdale Avenue, which opened two months ago. She moved there from an assisted living center she shared with her husband, who died of brain cancer two years ago.

Before that, the couple resided in a subdivision in FishHawk Ranch. Their former neighbors said they heard she had problems of her own, and may have been suffering from dementia.

Heron Glen resident Ursula Triner, 60, said Jacobsen's daughter told her there were times the woman didn't recognize her two grandchildren.

At The Bridges facility, however, she didn't live in the special area where people with mental issues are monitored 24/7. She lived in an assisted-living apartment, where she could come and go as she pleased, said Jack Goodwyn, spokesman for the Senior Care Group, which owns The Bridges.

At 10:45 p.m. Thursday, she stepped into a path of a moving car and was killed. The driver, Joseph Stevens, isn't facing any charges, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reported.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said its unclear why Jacobsen was out walking. Her path would have led her near Winthrop Town Centre, where the only open businesses at that time would have been Acropolis Greek Taverna and Green Iguana Bar & Grill.

"I'm not sure if it was Alzheimer's," Triner said. "But if she was that way, then why would she be left where she could come and go?"

Jacobsen was a former yacht club officer and widow of an ex-New York City police detective who wrote three detective novels. They had been married 50 years. She left behind a daughter and two grandchildren.

Stevens, 21, was still shaken up Friday. He said he was returning from Target with his girlfriend when his 2008 Toyota hit Jacobsen. It was dark, he said, and he didn't see her.

He said nurses at the scene told him Jacobsen had been suffering from dementia. They told him she had said her family was trying to take her money.

That statement is similar to one found in a Sheriff's Office report, which was written when Jacobsen was arrested in January 2007 for domestic violence. Her husband, Bill Jacobsen, told deputies that she pushed him and said she had a loaded gun because he was giving money to their daughter and because she was going to an assisted-living facility.

The charges were dropped.

In a phone interview Friday morning, Goodwyn said Jacobsen did not show signs of dementia. He did not return calls later in the day to discuss the conflicting information.

At a news conference Friday, facility and corporate officials wouldn't answer reporters' questions. Goodwyn simply stated he wanted the community to know the facility is safe.

With only about 30 residents, there are many vacancies, and they plan to build independent living villas on the property.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration will investigate the death, as it does with all adverse incidents at assisted-living centers, agency spokeswoman Tiffany Vause said. Based on what the agency finds, it can impose sanctions or fines, she said. She expects the report will be completed in a few weeks.

Natalie Clanzy, a regional director of the Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, said Florida law requires assisted-living centers to provide safe living environments.

Speaking generally about the situation, she said before new residents can move in they must fill out a form about their health care needs, which must be signed by a doctor. If a resident had dementia, he or she would need to be under adequate supervision, she said.

"It is (the facility's) responsibility to be sure they meet their residents' needs," she said.

Times staff researcher John Martin and staff writer Kim Wilmath contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Pedestrian, 72, hit by car and killed in Brandon


View Larger Map

Elderly woman hit by car and killed during late-night walk in Brandon 12/04/09 [Last modified: Saturday, December 5, 2009 12:14am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. CIA chief: Intel leaks on the rise amid 'worship' of leakers

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — CIA director Mike Pompeo says he thinks disclosure of America's secret intelligence is on the rise, fueled partly by the "worship" of leakers like Edward Snowden.

    CIA director Mike Pompeo said the U.S. must redouble its efforts to stop information from leaking.
  2. ABC Racing kennel advances three into semifinals

    Parimutuels

    ST. PETERSBURG — The maiden voyage by Don Burk into the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby series — his first as the ABC Racing kennel owner — went as easy as ABC.

  3. Why Grenfell tower burned: Regulators put cost before safety

    World

    The doorbell woke Yassin Adam just before 1 a.m. A neighbor was frantically alerting others on the fourth floor of Grenfell Tower about a fire in his apartment. "My fridge blew up," the man shouted.

    At least 79 people were killed in the fire at the Grenfell Tower apartment building in London, and the toll is expected to rise.
  4. Bullpen melts down as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jacob Faria allowed his first two big-league home runs and was touched for a career-high three runs Saturday by the Orioles. Other than that, the rookie making his fourth major-league start did okay against the Baltimore bats.

    The bullpen, not so much.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Baltimore Orioles scored four runs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 24, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) SPD118
  5. Lightning shifts search for defense to free agency

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — As much as he tried, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman left the weekend's draft without acquiring another top-four defenseman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101