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76-Year-Old Walker in Critical Condition After Car Strikes Her and Drives On in Palm Harbor

| November 11, 2011

Jamesine Fischer's PT Cruiser, parked at Roger's Towing, has a cracked windshield on the passenger side as a result of striking 76-year-old Francoise Pecqueur. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Update: Francoise Pecqueur died of her injuries on Nov. 12. The full story here.

Francoise Pecqueur is a vivacious, 76-year-old French immigrant who settled in Palm Coast, from northern France, years ago. She was a cashier at Publix for over ten years, retiring some years ago to enjoy life. She liked to say that despite her age, dancing was still among her favorite hobbies. She was back in France for a month this fall to see family and friends. She’d just returned–and told a neighbor that it would be her last trip home.

Pecqueur is now in critical condition at Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach from severe injuries she suffered after a car struck her Thursday evening. She was showing no brain activity today, and is not expected to live.

Pecqueur was walking north on the right side of Columbia Lane, just north of Colchester Lane, in the Palm Harbor neighborhood crisscrossed by canals. It was already dark. “For unknown reasons(s),” as the Florida Highway Patrol report put it, Jamesine Fischer, 55, who was driving north on Colchester in her 2007 PT Cruiser, “did not see” Pecqueur. She hit her. Pecqueur struck the right side of the car and left a fabric mark on the hood, cracking the right side of the windshield. “As a result of impact, [Pecqueur] was propelled northeastward onto the east shoulder” of the road, the report states.

Fisher drove on, thinking as she later told investigators, that she’d hit a dog, though even when hitting a pet or a deer, motorists are required to report the strike.

Fischer is married to Flagler County School Board member John Fischer.

Paramedics were dispatched to the scene around 6 p.m. Initial reports were that Pecqueur had fallen and hit her head, so neither the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office nor the Florida Highway Patrol, who would normally respond to traffic accidents, responded to the scene. On the way back to where she’d driven, Fischer saw the paramedics and stopped. The sequence of events is not clear at this point. There were no inquiries about the cracked windshield at the scene at that point, and it’s not precisely clear at what point Fischer informed authorities that she may have been responsible for the accident, though she did so sometime that evening or later that night.

Pecqueur was taken to the hospital as a victim of a fall with a head injury, but hospital staff indicated that her injuries were not consistent with a mere fall, and surmised that she had been struck by a vehicle.

The Florida Highway Patrol received a dispatch call for the accident at 1:15 a.m. that night, and began the investigation at the scene at 1:53 a.m. Around 7 a.m., four Florida Highway Patrol cruisers showed up at the Fischer residence, at 45 Freeland Lane, less than two miles away. The PT Cruiser was impounded and sent to Roger’s Towing, where it remains. The case is under investigation, the highway patrol says.

John Fischer this morning said he couldn’t speak about the specifics of the case as it is under investigation. He described his wife as distraught over the incident. “We’re OK physically, but we’re concerned about the other person and their family,” Fischer said, saying they were praying for her.

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32 Responses for “76-Year-Old Walker in Critical Condition After Car Strikes Her and Drives On in Palm Harbor”

  1. Kendall says:

    What kind of person hits what they believe is a dog and just keeps going?

  2. Liana G says:

    My deep regrets to all those involved in this unfortunate situation.

    FlaglerLive there was an incident/accident a few weeks ago in the B section involving a child who was hit by a car while riding his bike to school around 7:30am. The bus route in this neighbourhood was eliminated because of budgets cuts, and there is no sidewalks or bike paths on most of these streets. Also, daylight savings time had not yet occurred so 7:30am was still fairly dark. Is it possible to get a report on this story?

  3. Anonymous says:

    What’s obvious is she left the scene of an accident. Boy oh boy, it’s so funny how some people are given the benefit of the doubt but for the rest of us they have hi-tech cameras , pictures and special hearings to nail us for running a red light. At the least should have been an arrested for leaving. But I forgot, Mary DiStefano also got off for a hit in run, even though it was caught on a surveillance camera in a Publix parking lot.

  4. Begonia says:

    I don’t know why the streets were designed to be so narrow here, with no room for sidewalks or street lights. In my neighborhood you cannot walk safely after dark.

    Maybe we could use a good safety campaign here right now, something to the effect that if there are no street lights or sidewalks, take extra care to wear light clothing, carry a light with you if necessary. Bikes need to be lighted, and people need to be lighted, if necessary.

    And each of us needs to slow down and drive more carefully in our neighborhoods so that if you see a pedestrian or a pet you have time to come to a stop.

    Nobody hits anybody on purpose. What a horrible thing to happen to both of them. Let’s be extra careful for one another.

  5. says:

    a woman is found on the side of the road with injuries and no law enforcement responded and than she is taken to the hospital where the doctors observed it was not from a fall. somebody screwed up big time.

  6. agnese says:

    So we ask again “Where are the sidewalks??”

  7. Doug Chozianin says:

    Injuring or killing a dog or a senior citizen… who cares? I do and so should you. Read on…



    If You are involved in an accident or crash with another person’s property; such as a vehicle, building, structure or dog; and you leave the scene of the accident or crash without providing your name, address, registration information, and driver’s license to the owner of the property.

    If the owner of the property is not present to receive your information or cannot be readily located, you are required to report the accident or crash to the nearest law enforcement agency and provide your name, address, registration information, and driver’s license.

    Duty to Render Aid

    If you are involved in an accident or crash that results in injury or death to any person, including a passenger of yours, you are required to:

    Stop Immediately;

    Provide your names, address, registration information, and driver’s license; and render reasonable assistance to the injured or deceased person by transporting, or making arrangements for the transportation, of the person to a medical professional for treatment if it is apparent that treatment is needed or the person requests assistance.

    If the person injured or deceased is not in a condition to receive your information or be transported, you are required to report the accident or crash to the nearest law enforcement agency as quickly as possible and provide your name, address, registration information, and driver’s license.

    Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident

    The penalties for the crime of Leaving the Scene of an Accident increase based upon whether the accident or crash involved Property Damage, Personal Injury, or Death.

    In Florida, Leaving the Scene of an Accident can be charged as:

    •Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage
    •Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Injury
    •Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Death

    Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage is a Second Degree Misdemeanor. If convicted of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage, you would be facing any combination of the following penalties:

    •Up to sixty (60) days in jail,
    •Up to six months of probation, or
    •A fine up to $500.

    Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Injury is a Third Degree Felony punishable as a Level 5 offense under Florida’s sentencing guidelines. If convicted of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Injury, you would be facing any combination of the following penalties:

    •A maximum sentence of five (5) years in prison,
    •Five years of probation, or
    •A fine up to $5,000.

    Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Death is a First Degree Felony punishable as a Level 7 offense under Florida’s sentencing guidelines. Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Death, you would be facing any combination of the following penalties:

    •A minimum sentence of twenty-one (21) months in prison,
    •A maximum sentence of fifteen (15) years in prison,
    •Fifteen years of probation, or
    •A fine up to $10,000.

    This gal is in deep trouble. Leaving the scene of an accident involving DEATH is the charge she could be facing in court. Don’t “hit and run”.

  8. Claudia says:

    Any other (common) citizen involved in a hit and run accident would have been arrested. The sheriff’s department needs to do its job. Although it may not have been an intentional accident, Fischer broke the law!! My heart goes out to the victim.

  9. palmcoaster says:

    My prayers got for Francoise’s recovery. I agree with Claudia.

  10. "My Daily Rant" says:

    She hit the wind shield, at that point she could not tell it was a person. if at that close range you cant tell the differance between a dog and a person you should not be driving.

  11. Lynda says:

    Francoise was such a wonderful lady. Yesterday they declared her brain dead and arrangements are being made. Why is there still nothing published in the News Journal or on any of the tv stations. The wife of a school board member was responsible. Is there some sort of cover-up? Just wondering.

  12. palmcoaster says:

    The account of events just make me sick…one more criminal will probably would be let go with a pat in the wrist ..while we loose a very good resident.

  13. Carol says:

    This is a travesty! I know her and am aghast that there is so much injustice to this situation. If the roads are narrow, (and I’ve walked with her) wouldn’t you drive slower? I am a nurse and believe me, the damage to that windshield is NOT from a dog. If it was dark, wouldn’t you put your lights/brights on? Francoise was a beautiful person, good to the core. She is gone. The only thing that angers me the most is that this Fischer woman left the scene of the crime. Maybe she was texting or talking on the phone. Another travesty. That the police have not charged her is another one. Is there a cover-up? I suspect so. And I agree, how come there is nothing more to be said on the paper or TV? To her daughter: you have an enormous amount of questions to be answered and justiced to be served. My heart goes out to you and your family. I will miss her more than you know and I am sure all of her friends will feel the emptiness that I already feel.

  14. JGF says:

    This wonderful person is no longer with us. A wonderful family is still in shock and totally devastated. A grandson still crying over the loss of his grandmother who will not be at his soon to be wedding. A daughter is trying to make sense of all of this, picking up the peices, and still crying. For a person not to know they hit another person and leave the scene, only tells us they are hiding the real truth. Political official or not the truth will be heard!

  15. Carol says:

    An addendum:
    What happened to EMS? If they were properly trained they would have recognized that Francoise was hit by a car, and not the result of a fall. Police should have been contacted immediately!

    Second, could it be possible that if this Fischer woman had stopped and called 911 immediately, could have there been a possibility of saving her? Her delay in reporting may very well have contributed to Francoise’s poor outcome.

  16. says:

    Lynda, i just call thenews-journal and asked the same question, lets see what they report. the newspapers had it in st augustine.

  17. RealityCheck says:

    I hope that she charged with vehicular homicide. Why has the “city” of Palm Coast not done more for its citizens, like sidewalks and better lighting.

  18. Silent no more says:

    You don’t hit something and keep driving. It dosen’t matter what it was you hit, whether it was a mailbox, a pet, a wild animal or God forbid a person. If you hit hard enough to cause that kind of vehicle damage, then you MUST have known you hit something. Why the hell didn’t you STOP? Maybe if you did, medical attention would have arrived sooner.

    Very dissapointed in people these days. Mrs. Fischer, I am shocked at your lack of common sense.

  19. More Amazed Every Day says:

    If she hit the windshield, how could you NOT tell it was a person and not a dog/animal???? Complete BS…if she returned to the scene while EMS was there, why didn’t she fess up then?? My condolences to the family.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Huh, seems strange. I think If anyone else in the community did something this horrific it would have made the front page in our local news and you could bet the harsh punishment would have already been started by now. If this were a teenager that had hit her all kinds of negative things would have been said about “the

    careless youth nowadays”. School board members wife??? What a wonderful example she is setting, great set of morals, apparently she had somewhere very important to get to. This absolutely disgusts me!

  21. Carol says:

    Happy Birthday Francoise! I love you and miss you horribly.

  22. Emilie ROMANET says:

    Mrs. Fischer must be drunk that’s why she ran off . The road is normal if she drive normally without speeding and drunk , but there are also street lights . She is still have to stop and get out of her car and called for help but don’t ran off ….. give her times to find a lie story to the law enforcement on the next day … sorry she knows what she was doing .

  23. says:

    RealityCheck they are too busy planting palm trees and shrubs on belle terre road by the E-section and you know who lives there.

  24. Nicole says:

    What the hell is this ??? Why isn’t this story on the local news or front page of our paper ? A HIT and RUN involving a death ? But because this woman’s husband is on the school board, it’s hush, hush, oh well, accidents happen ? That’s insane. She hit a human being and left the scene to go home. How does one person do that to another ? How horribly calous and cold ! How do you live with yourself a single second knowing you left a person on the side of the road ? I sincerely hope the family of the poor victim takes this to the top and gets justice !! What a horrible, horrible senseless tragedy.

  25. Just one of her many friends says:

    MEMORIAL MASS TONIGHT (Thurs 17th) St Elizabeth Ann Seton at 6 pm

  26. shocked says:

    Is there any news regarding the accident? Prosecution for Mrs. Fischer? or letting it slide by?

  27. Lynda says:

    Still no charges against Mrs. Fischer? How long does it take to investigate? It was a hit and run and a lovely lady died because of this. I’m outraged that days are going by and nothing is being done to bring justice for Francoise. Charge Mrs. Fischer!

  28. Shocked says:

    Over a month, and Ms. Francoise’s family will celebrate Christmas without her. And STILL no word on prosecution. She was a lovely ladyand the world is not the same without her. Hopefully, justice will be served.

  29. palmcoaster says:

    Way over a month and more incriminating evidence is coming up for wether a cover up or else;
    I am sure I will be sitting on jail all these almost 2 months, if was me with the perpetrator of this hit and run.
    For worst I was told yesterday by a Palm Coast well connected resident that is well known that Mrs. Fischer was drunk as seeing by some on the accident site, when she was telling others, that Francoise fell. Can these known witness corroborate that, to the lawyers?
    I hope that Rue & Ziffra Lawyers team get to the real bottom of this cover up and investigate what I was told that the perpetrator was impaired by alcohol. Where was Mrs Fischer coming from…maybe the Bunnell Moose Bar? I give my sincere condolences to Francoise daughter, family and friends and hope their good lawyer team come up with the truth. Francoise deserves justice!

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