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Woman struck, killed on way home

MANATEE — A food service employee at State College of Florida was struck and killed Monday night while she tried to cross 26th Street West on her way home from work.

A 2007 Ford pickup driven by a 44-year-old Bradenton man struck Marilyn C. Kaval, 43, just north of the intersection of 26th Street West and 56th Avenue West, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol.

Kaval worked the evening shift at SCF’s new library cafe, which opened this semester.

“It’s shocking,” said Judy Rumberger, who worked with Kaval at SCF and whose husband, Dennis Rumberger, was Kaval’s landlord. “I’m real upset about it.”

Kaval worked at SCF since August 2008, according to a spokesman at Food Services Inc., a Milwaukee-based company that provides food services for the school.

The food service director at SCF, Bob Christoffel, said Kaval started as a line worker but he chose her for the cafe because of her friendly, outgoing demeanor.

“I felt she would be a good fit with her personality and the way she interacted with the students,” Christoffel said.

Christoffel said the school made a counselor available to food service employees Tuesday.

“It’s someone you’re with every day,” he said. “I guess everyone was just shocked.”

Kaval was crossing 26th Street from the west shoulder when the southbound pickup hit her, according to the report. The FHP report said no charges will be filed.

The accident happened near the duplex where Kaval lived with her sister, Jackie, who also works at SCF. Judy Rumberger said Marilyn was talking to her sister on a cell phone before the accident occurred.

The two women faced eviction this week, according to court records, but Judy Rumberger said that didn’t affect her friendship with Marilyn Kaval. She said the Kavals were making other living arrangements but hadn’t yet moved from the duplex.

An employee who answered the phone Tuesday night at the SCF library said Marilyn Kaval was well-liked and was looking forward to attending her son’s graduation in May in Chicago. She said another employee who was working in the cafe was too upset to talk about Kaval’s death.