John and Nelly Depooter were among many other attending a Dutch Reformed Church service after which an inexplicable tragedy took place that consumed three lives and hurt four others. Soon after the service was over, John Depooter stood while holding his wife’s while as he turned around to say hello to a familiar face. He confessed that “I heard the commotion, and I looked and there comes the SUV. It was gathering speed as we were talking.”
Mr. Depooter alleged that “I see all these people jumping out of the way or getting pushed out of the way by the car.” Standing alongside his wife’s were Margaret Vanderlaan and Wilhemina Paul, speaking about whom he said that “as I kept turning I saw the SUV hit Margaret and Wilma. They got completely run over, underneath the vehicle.” While breaking down in tears, he added “and then, where’s my wife?” During the blind spree, the SUV also sideswiped Depooter’s wife. According to him, the mirror hit her in the face and knocked her to the ground unconscious.
67-year-old Mrs. Depooter was among the four people seriously injured in the bloody accident that took place in the parking lot of the Sugar Creek Country Club at 3333 26th Ave. E. in Bradenton on Sunday, when Doreen Landstra of Palmetto backed a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe into a crowd of churchgoers. The tragic accident also caused death of women, 72-year-old Vanderlaan, 70-year-old Paul and 80-year-old Johanna Dijkhoff. Dopooter stated that “it was a terrible experience. I will never forget it.”
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