IMMOKALEE, Fla. — An Immokalee woman reached out to Fox 4 to raise awareness about the need for sidewalk improvements along busy road - where her mother was killed by a hit and run driver just two weeks ago. Margarita Gonzalez, 71, was killed when she was trying to cross Lake Trafford Road on the evening of November 27.
"All he had to do was stop. That's all he had to do," said Maggie Maldonado, Gonzalez's daughter.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers located the vehicle they believe struck Gonzalez, but say that the crash is under investigation and they have yet to arrest a suspect.
Maldonado believes her mother was trying to cross Lake Trafford Road in order to get to the north side of the road, where there is a more continuous sidewalk. The sidewalk ends at Krystal Lane on the south side of the road, near the crash scene.
"As you can see, the sidewalk ends right there, and she was pushing a walker," Maldonado said.
She thinks there should be a sidewalk on the south side of the road, out of concern for other pedestrians, many of whom are elderly.
"As far as my mom, what's happened has happened," Moldanado said. "All I'm hoping for is this not to happen to somebody else's mother or loved one."
A spokesman from the Florida Department of Transportation told Fox 4 that several sidewalk expansion projects are already scheduled for Lake Trafford Road, including the section where Gonzalez was killed. But they aren't scheduled to begin until 2021. Moldanado said those projects can't wait.
"It's not just elderly...it's people that don't have vehicles, that have to cross with their young children," she said. "It's just another accident waiting to happen."