Bradenton driver in fatal church parking loses license for 1 year

Posted by BAY NEWS 9 on April 2, 2014 

From Bay News 9:

BRADENTON --The elderly woman who killed three people when she accidentally backed into a crowd of people leaving a Manatee County church will lose her license for one year.

But Doreen Landstra won't face any jail time.

Landstra, 79, appeared before a judge Wednesday on a traffic citation of improper backing.

The crash happened Feb. 2 in the Sugar Creek Country Club 55-and-over mobile home community off Belinda Circle and Clubhouse Drive in East Bradenton.

Witnesses said Landstra appeared to think she put her large Chevrolet sport utility vehicle in "drive," but instead she shifted into reverse and backed through the clubhouse parking lot, hitting seven people.

Johanna Dijkhoff, 80, died at the scene. Wilhemina Paul, 70 and Margaret Vanderlaan, 72, were both taken to Blake Medical Center, where they later died.

Troopers said there was no criminal intent in the crash.

However, some are questioning if Landstra should get her license back.

In 2011, the Brandenton Herald reported that Landstra once drove an SUV into the lobby of a McDonald's in Michigan after she hit the gas instead of the brake.

In that case, she was required to retake her driver's exam.

In addition to a license suspension, Landstra could be fined up to $1,000 for the traffic citation.

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