A 68-year old Cantonment, Florida, man was struck and killed by a 1995 Chevrolet van last Monday. While tragic, the event isn’t remarkable until you learn the circumstances surrounding James W. Campbell’s death.
Campbell had exited the passenger side of the van to open a metal gate for the driver, identified by North Escambia.com as 56-year old Iris Fortner. Fortner, meanwhile, had opened the driver’s side door to see where Campbell was standing.
That’s where Fortner’s dog, a boxer, enters the picture. Upon seeing his owner, the dog ran across the yard and jumped into the van’s cabin, causing the accelerator to be depressed. Despite Fortner’s efforts to apply the brakes, the van struck Campbell, trapping him underneath.
Paramedics were unable to revive Cambell, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, and its not yet clear if charges will be filed.
It’s also not clear whether the dog or Fortner depressed the accelerator, but let’s all learn a valuable lesson from this: large dogs, open doors, running engines and in-gear transmissions are a potentially dangerous combination.
We're also not surprised to see that the incident took place in Florida, which appears to be the epicenter of all things weird and vehicle-related. If it can go wrong behind the wheel, chances are good it will do so in Florida.