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Woman, 42, Stops Her Car Off U.S. 1 and Ends Her Life With Gunshot as Helicopter Hovers

| February 5, 2018

Magggie Olivera was found in her car between St. Mary's Catholic Church and St. Joseph's Carmelite Monastery on South Old Dixie Highway Saturday afternoon. (© FlaglerLive)

Magggie Olivera was found in her car between St. Mary’s Catholic Church and St. Joseph’s Carmelite Monastery on South Old Dixie Highway Saturday afternoon. (© FlaglerLive)

For the second time in four weeks in Flagler a person at the wheel of a car has led sheriff’s deputies on a brief pursuit that ended with the person dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the car.


In mi-afternoon Saturday, Maggie Olivera, 42, was found in her  Toyota 4 Runner by the side of the road at Old Dixie Highway not far from and U.S. 1, just outside Palm Coast. The location of the car, 277 S. Old Dixie Highway, was between St. Mary’s Catholic Church and St. Joseph’s Carmelite Monastery.

St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies had alerted the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office about Olivera, who earlier had been driving through St. Johns. St. John’s emergency helicopter was able to follow Olivera from the air as she drove down U.S. 1, leading Flagler deputies to her location soon after she may have first driven on County Road 304.

But when deputies approached the vehicle, and after giving several unanswered voice commands to the driver, they noticed a person slumped over inside, leaning toward the passenger seat. A sergeant broke the rear, heavily tinted driver side window to attempt further contact. When the front driver’s side window was opened, Olivera was found not to have a pulse. A Flagler County Fire Rescue paramedic pronounced her dead at 3:33 p.m.

Olivera had left a note on the dashboard with instructions for her family. A 9 mm firearm was on the floorboard.

The area turned into a crime scene for the next several hours as the sheriff’s investigators converged, as they have with numbing frequency around suicide scenes for more than a year. The Palm Coast Fire Police reduced Old Dixie Highway traffic to one lane, occasionally closing the road entirely for 15-minute stretches whenever detectives had to work inside the vehicle, and when the medical examiner removed Olivera’s body.

The vehicle, a 2018 model, was registered in Washington State, but Olivera’s listed address was on Commons Drive in Destin, Fla.

Less than a month ago, early the morning of Jan. 9, a 36-year-old man took his own life with a gun after parking his car by roadside on State Road 100, near the intersection with I-95. Four months ago, a man who’d driven through Flagler County after shooting his stepdaughter to death in Brevard County crossed the St. Johns County line on U.S. 1, parked near a gas station there, and after a standoff with St. Johns deputies, shot himself.

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17 Responses for “Woman, 42, Stops Her Car Off U.S. 1 and Ends Her Life With Gunshot as Helicopter Hovers”

  1. Richard says:

    In the early days of my life growing up in Rochester NY it was rare to hear about a suicide in the news. In fact a specific one back then was a high school friend’s father who was also my Boy Scout assistant leader and a high school student that jumped from an eight story hotel. These days here in a small area of Flagler County it has become commonplace now with regards to suicides or attempted suicides. Personally it seems to me to be an epidemic. Is it possible that drugs, drugs and more drugs could be frying the brain cells of these people to cause them to take their lives?

  2. Pogo says:

    @RIP Maggie Olivera

    And Richard, what shall we assume – like you have about Maggie Olivera – about you?

    Something to consider:

    How America’s Economic Ideology Is Making People Depressed and Anxiety-Filled

    The author of a new book on depression says our society’s “junk values” are making us sick.

    By Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!

    The United States is one of the most depressed countries in the world. Could it be because of the country’s adoption of neoliberal economic policies? We speak to Johann Hari, author of a controversial new book, “Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—and the Unexpected Solutions.” He writes, “Junk food has taken over our diets, and it is making millions of people physically sick. A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that something similar is happening with our minds—that they have become dominated by junk values, and this is making us mentally sick, triggering soaring rates of depression and anxiety.”

    Full article
    https://www.alternet.org/books/how-americas-economic-ideology-making-people-depressed-and-anxiety-filled

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s not necessarily drugs that are causing the high rate of suicides, but mental health. I think the pressures of today’s world on people do not help their situation. It is a shame that a friend or family member did not know it see the signs and could of prevented this from occurring. Such a sad world for many. Please pray for those who need help. Don’t ignore the signs that could save a loved ones life.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My sincere condolences to the family and friends of this woman. Suicide doesn’t only take the life of the one who commits the act-it haunts the lives of many others besides. I hope that everyone affected by this event will find peace–and get whatever help and support they need.

  5. Jenn says:

    We have no idea what this woman has been going through and facing or what prompted her to take her own life. I don’t believe there is an epidemic of suicide I just think people don’t have anywhere or anyone to turn to to talk to for help. It is very sad that she chose to end her life. My heart breaks for her friends and family and may prayers go out to all of them at this very tragic time.

  6. Elephant in the room says:

    It’s sad there are so many suicides in this area and we don’t know why. Is there a link between them? How many flight school aircraft from Volusia County continue to circle over our neighborhoods every single day and night? The next time you’re enjoying a peaceful and “quiet” day in the warm Florida sun, look up and count. Go ahead, zoom in with the family camera and google the registration number. How many years have these low flying aircraft been circling over us and what type of fuel are these planes known to use? LEADED. It’s time Flagler County along with many others counties in Florida address the elephant in the room… Avgas, also known as aviation gasoline. Perhaps our community could benefit from an unbiased, lead specific test in regards to soil and air quality. We already know that depression can lead to suicide and lead exposure can lead to cognitive issues including depression. Does our community have a lead exposure issue? If so, could it be linked to frequent flight training over our community? Perhaps.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lead-in-aviation-fuel/#

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2917196/

  7. Harrison H. McDonald PE says:

    It’s gratifying that this woman had the common decency not to harm others. Suicide by police is despicable.

  8. palmcoaster says:

    I do not think is just drugs and drugs. The reality is the demise of our middle society loosing their jobs to the greed of corporations moving overseas to profit from slaves that leaves our workers unemployed forever…loosing their homes and cars and way of life for lack of paid jobs!. No medical preventive health care, no mental health or drug rehab just tax breaks and our tax funds for the already wealthy! Look around us when have we ever seeing so many homeless and they are 99% whites! How many of our American unemployed fellow men and women are looking for jobs to no avail for weeks months and years? All is made worse by the stigma of these wars geared by GOP’S forcing our wasted tax revenue to be spent policing the war!
    May our God sooth and receive in His Kingdom Maggie and help her family in these tragic times..Sad.

  9. Harrison H. McDonald PE says:

    Cable news is 99% bad news, and probably causes more suicides than drugs. At the speed of light we learn of every major tragedy on Earth.

  10. Linze says:

    It is caused by sin, the devil is taking more lives everyday
    If they would turn to God for help

  11. Christopher Lemke says:

    Whatever. Sad beyond words. Pray for these people.

  12. South Florida says:

    i have experienced suicide in my own family. it was based on depression.
    its a hard situation for any family to go through. unfortunately, they sometimes loose all faith in everything in their own situation, as well as dealing with todays society. sometimes they see know other way out of their present situation. its very sad.

  13. The Truth says:

    It seems all too common that these types of articles turn into a political finger pointing game of why this happened. The truth is, we have no idea what this woman was going through in her life. The causes of suicide run wide and deep. There are so many factors that come into play that it would be unfair and wrong for any of us to speculate.

    My thoughts and prayers are with this woman and her family, who are left to pick up the pieces and try and live a normal life while asking themselves what they could have done differently. RIP

  14. YankeeExPat says:

    RE Linze:

    Sorry to tell you Linze, but god has gone to outsourcing … but here is a prayer call center for the 700 club, it will cost you $25.00, AMEX, VISA and MASTERCARD accepted. Or you can set up an automatic ACH withdrawal from your checking or savings accounts. Ask to speak with Pat!

    Who’s to know if this poor woman asked or help from god, and well, ….god ignored her.
    Too busy smiting and begetting probably

  15. Geezer says:

    At this point, it isn’t known why Ms. Olivera chose to exit this life.
    It could have been the unexpected diagnosis of an illness, the
    pain of losing a loved one, etc. We don’t know, and who are we to
    judge?

    She didn’t endanger other lives from what I can tell, and it’s an
    ironic locale where she thought her last thoughts……

    I extend my heartfelt sympathies to those who knew and loved
    this lady. At 42, she may not even have been halfway through her life.

    Gone too soon….

  16. Algonquin J. Calhoun says:

    Well said Expat. Glory Gee To Beeus!

  17. Florida voter says:

    First and foremost: my prayers for the friends and family of Maggie Olivera.

    Next, since FL usually includes suicide prevention but didn’t here, I’ll ask that they either provide that information or reply and let us know why they omitted it in this article. I believe it’s still part of the WHO and other organizations still recommend including that information. (1, 2)

    Taken from previous FL articles:
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800/273-8255
    If you are concerned for someone else, read about warning signs:
    https://afsp.org/about-suicide/risk-factors-and-warning-signs/
    See the University of South Florida’s Youth Suicide Prevention School-Based Guide:
    http://theguide.fmhi.usf.edu/
    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention https://afsp.org/

    Lastly, @ Richard and others: yes, in the last two decades, suicide has been on a slight rise (3). We hear about it more, however, due to the fact that we are now well and truly in the “Information Age.” We didn’t hear much about it in the 80’s and earlier because “The News” was limited to 1/2 hour local news on ABC, CBS, or NBC (hyperbole.) Now we have instant (or near enough) access to more information than we can absorb (300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (4), not hyperbole.) We are more aware of our community and more aware of the events in the lives of our neighbors than we were 40 years ago.

    (1) http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/resource_media.pdf
    (2) http://reportingonsuicide.org/wp-content/themes/ros2015/assets/images/Recommendations-eng.pdf

    (3) https://www.statista.com/statistics/187478/death-rate-from-suicide-in-the-us-by-gender-since-1950/

    (4) https://www.statisticbrain.com/youtube-statistics/

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