Longtime Madison bartender dies trying to cross Florida freeway | criminality
Beloved Madison bartender Mary Reed was killed while trying to cross a freeway in Fort Myers, Fla. on Wednesday night, a friend has confirmed.
Reed, 55, who was a bartender at Crystal Corner Bar, Ale Asylum, Brothers Three and most recently Dive Inn, wrote on Facebook that it was his first vacation in 15 years.
A story by ABC-TV station WWSB in Sarasota did not name Reed in a story Thursday, but said a Wisconsin woman was killed after she was hit by two vehicles as she walked in the lane of traffic, trying to cross San Carlos Boulevard.
He said a pedestrian was hit by a white sedan heading south. “A second car just behind them swerved to avoid it but also hit the woman, who died at the scene,” he added.
The report says the driver of the white sedan fled the scene and is wanted by the Florida Highway Patrol.
An article in the Fort Myers News-Press said the accident happened shortly after 7 p.m.
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He said the second car was being driven by a 58-year-old Fort Myers woman and was heading south on San Carlos behind the first vehicle.
A patrol report indicates that the second driver swerved to avoid the pedestrian but struck the woman with the right front of the vehicle. He also said surveillance video from a local business showed the suspect vehicle moments after the crash heading south from San Carlos.
The report says the pedestrian was from Cottage Grove.
Reed’s friend Gene Cook said Reed was with his sister, Laura Reed Blew, when she was hit.
“Mary treasured her daughters and her family, was a loyal friend, lit up the room with her frank sense of humor,” Cook said.
Josh Wacker, co-owner of the Dive Inn, 521 Cottage Grove Road, said he was in “difficult condition” Thursday morning.
Wacker said Reed was the first person he hired when the bar opened last June. He said she worked one day a week and had hip surgery, so she recently returned to work at the bar.
“It was fun having her with us,” he said. “She was always helpful in covering shifts and had a good following. A good crowd always came to see her.”
The bar hosts a lunchtime meat raffle once a month to benefit local elementary schools and this month, on March 19, the money raised will go to Reed’s family, Wacker said.
He said he planned with Reed’s boyfriend to close the bar next week during Reed’s regular Wednesday shift and get a band together to pay his respects.
Reed leaves behind two daughters.