3 dead, others injured in Bradenton parking lot accident - FOX 13 News

3 dead, others injured in Bradenton parking lot accident

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BRADENTON (FOX 13) -

Hundreds of friends and neighbors gathered in prayer to remember three people who died in what many described as a freak accident.

Seven people were run over outside the Sugar Creek Country Club after a church service Sunday.

Johanna Dijkhoff, 80, Margaret Vanderlaan, 72, and Wilhemina Paul, 70, all from Bradenton, died when hit by an SUV. Five others were injured.

The driver, Doreen E. Landstra, 79, from Palmetto, was not injured and charges are pending according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Preliminary reports indicate Landstra accelerated in reverse hitting the group before the SUV ended up in a creek.

Witnesses said it appeared she was trying to navigate through a packed parking lot and may have thought her SUV was in drive, which it was not.

Four others were seriously injured and rushed to the hospital.

More than 300 neighbors attended a prayer service hours after learning of the deaths.

Three pastors addressed the congregation through prayer and song.

"We have seating for about 220 and the place is packed. We have people outside standing room only," Bill Watts, the club's president, said.

Watts said there are 365 total units in the small, close knit community.

"Needless to say a lot of people are very devastated. We need patience and we need a lot of prayer," said Watts.

Sam Regnerus wasn't there Sunday morning but learned one of his neighbors was killed around lunchtime.

"I couldn't believe it when her husband came home from the hospital and told me that his wife was one of them," Regerus explained. "I just cannot believe it."

That sense of shock has rocked this small community.

Before the service, groups joined hands in prayer less than ten feet from where three of their neighbors were killed hours before.

For many it appeared tough to walk by the scene and into the same church where they were earlier Sunday.

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