Last Updated: Saturday, 9:36 a.m.
Tamera L. Pizzo, a 56-year-old former resident of Minot, N.D., who’d just moved to Daytona Beach, was killed by a passing car as she tried to cross South Ocean Shore Boulevard (State Road A1A) in Flagler Beach, just south of South 26th Street Friday evening.
The wreck took place at 8:43 p.m. in front of 2604 South Ocean Shore. Pizzo was with a companion and had been looking for her dog, walking on the beach-side of the road, when she crossed A1A and was struck. A1A at that juncture is unlit at this time of year. There is a street light at the corner of A1A and South 26th, but it’s turned off during turtle-nesting season. When the moon is behind clouds, as it was Friday evening, the road is in pitch darkness.
Pizzo was in the habit of coming to Flagler Beach with her companion and their dog to walk the dog on the beach, because dogs are not allowed on beaches in Volusia. The couple had been hanging out on the beach (and drinking) when the dog got loose and ran across the road. The woman’s companion went after the dog, which he eventually found. But Pizzo, a Florida Highway Patrol investigator said after speaking with her companion, got tired of waiting and walked up the access point and across the road.
The car, a burgundy-colored Nissan Rogue SL–a small SUV–was heading south. Two couples were aboard. They had just had dinner at a restaurant in the Hammock and were returning to Plantation Bay. Pizzo was struck on the front-right, passenger side of the SUV and was thrown to the sidewalk, up to the edge of a yard’s grass. Pizzo was pronounced dead at 8:52 p.m. She was a single mother. Her son is attending college in North Dakota.
John Finnegan, a retired man, was at the wheel of the SUV. He immediately stopped a few feet past the point of collision. The collision crushed the right-front side of the vehicle’s headlight and hood and smashed that side of the windshield.
Also in the vehicle were John Morina, 89, and his wife Joan, 84, and Finnegan’s wife Joan, 71. Finnegan was not speeding nor drinking, the FHP investigator said.
A1A was closed in both directions from 25th to 28th street, until 11 p.m. The road had been closed for a few hours as the Florida Highway Patrol investigates the wreck. FHP was at the scene within minutes of the wreck, as were the Flagler Beach Police Department, its fire department, the Flagler Beach Fire Police and Flagler County Fire Rescue. Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney, who was at the scene, said the department had two victims’ advocates with people involved in the wreck.
Pizzo’s father in Minot was notified of the wreck later that evening. The medical examiner removed the body, which was transported to St. Augustine for an autopsy, at 10:30 p.m. The road reopened to normal traffic at 11 p.m.