Divorced for two years, Eugene Krajewski had hoped for a reunion with his ex-wife, Joan, who was planning to move to Florida from Wisconsin this fall.
That wish was shattered Tuesday night when a pickup truck struck and killed Krajewski as he tried to cross Ridge Road near Custom Boulevard.
Krajewski, of 8638 Congress St. in Port Richey, was one of four Pasco County residents involved in three serious traffic accidents Tuesday night.
Krajewski, 65, had been drinking with his son, David, at a local pub in the evening.
About 10:20 p.m., he was walking across Ridge when he was struck by an Isuzu pickup driven by Scott M. Johnson, 18, of New Port Richey, according to Florida Highway Patrol reports.
Krajewski was thrown onto the hood, smashing the windshield. He landed in the pickup's bed and was pronounced dead at North Bay Medical Center.
Johnson was driving about 45 mph _ the posted speed limit _ and was not intoxicated, said FHP homicide investigator D. E. McMann.
The investigation is not complete.
On Wednesday, Krajewski's sons and daughter-in-law gathered at the Port Richey home Krajewski bought about a year ago.
"You hear about this kind of thing all the time, but you never imagine it's going to happen to your family," said Robert Krajewski, who moved in with his father about a month ago. "He was the kind of guy who'd do anything for you."
"He was my buddy," said Robert's wife, Carol. "He had his moments, just like anyone, but he was a good guy."
A Wisconsin native, Eugene Krajewski worked for years as a building inspector for the federal government and served a brief stint as a Navy cook aboard the USS Shannon during the Korean War.
David Krajewski said his father loved riding his motorcycle, a black Honda Shadow with a Bart Simpson doll strapped to the seat, and listening to Patsy Cline albums.
He collected model cars and displayed more than a dozen miniature elephants, including two made with volcanic ash from Mount St. Helens.
Krajewski also is survived by his son, Michael, who lives in Hudson with his wife, Sheila; a daughter, Cathy Brlecic, who lives in Wisconsin; and four grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Another Port Richey man was killed in a traffic accident Tuesday in north Pinellas County.
George Stephen Kurilla Jr., 29, of 6718 Sandra Drive, lost control of his Toyota pickup on East Lake Road north of Keystone Road, according to FHP reports.
The truck flipped, and Kurilla, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the truck. He was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg but could not be revived.
A passenger, Roy L. Womac Jr., of 9319 Labelle St. in New Port Richey, was treated at the scene for minor injuries.
In a separate accident Tuesday in Tarpon Springs, Melvin Patterson of Holiday was critically injured about 7 p.m. when he tried to turn onto U.S. 19 and was struck by a southbound pickup driven by Robert Ford, 32, of Dunedin.
Patterson was flown by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition Wednesday.