Elderly woman struck by FHP cruiser in Daytona Beach dies



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Channel 9 has learned an elderly woman died one day after being struck by Florida Highway Patrol cruiser in Daytona Beach early Wednesday afternoon.

Maria McCewe, 97, suffered a leg injury and was taken to Halifax Medical Center for treatment. She passed away Thursday.

Witnesses said the trooper appeared to be pulling into the parking lot at a low rate of speed and turning into the first lane of parking spots when he struck the woman.

"From day one when he got in the crash with her, he was upset. How old she was and the fact that she was hurt, that upset him originally and obviously her passing upsets him even more," Sgt. Kim Montes with FHP said.

Witnesses said McCewe was using a walker in the parking lot of the Walgreens when the incident happened.

"It was a terrible accident," one witness said.

McCewe's caregiver, Tia Eckstadt, was devastated to hear about her death.

"Really I'm not going to see her again and I took her hand, I was rubbing her hand and kissing her hand," Eckstadt said.

FHP said the trooper was going no faster than five miles per hour and he said he didn't see the victim. His patrol car was not damaged in the accident, which remains under investigation.