Angel Montes, crippled by heart attacks and unable to tie his shoes, prayed to God to end his life.
Maybe it was coincidence. Maybe it was God's will. Maybe Montes granted his own wish.
Friday night, Montes, 59, walked into the path of a car and was killed instantly, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
"If you hear me, God, take me away," his housemate, Maria Isabel Panade, said she heard him say earlier in the day. "My life stinks. I can't stand it no more."
The accident happened just before 8 p.m. as Montes was walking south across W Waters Avenue, Trooper L. R. Meyer said.
Montes was on his way to the regular Friday night service at the Collaboradores de Dios pentecostal church, at Waters and Thatcher avenues, Panade said.
Montes, who walked with a cane after six heart attacks, usually would wait for Panade to escort him across the dimly lit intersection, Panade said.
But Friday, she paused at the north side of the intersection to tell her 8-year-old daughter to go home and change her shoes, she said.
Montes, his head bowed to look at his shuffling feet, did not wait, she said.
Salvatore J. Gaglione, 29, had just turned onto Waters from Manhattan Avenue, Trooper Meyer said. Montes stepped into the eastbound lanes in front of the 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier, Meyer said.
"I didn't see him until he was literally on top of my car," Gaglione said. Gaglione was not charged.
"When I saw him, I just went crazy," Panade said. "He really wanted this to happen."
_ BILL DURYEA