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Driver in San Jose crash may have connection to another deadly accident

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Updated: 9/16/2013 1:06 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- According to the Florida Highway Patrol, charges are pending against 66-year-old Michael Fortunato in the death of 57-year-old Esther Ohayon.

Ohayon's case brings back horrible memories for local attorney Eric Block. He represented the family of 6-year-old Kaitlyn Springer, who was hit and killed by a car while trying to cross San Jose Boulevard with her mom and brother.

"All she was doing was trying to come home from Kmart from Christmas shopping and following the green light. It's horrible," said Block.

Four years after that deadly crash, Ohayon was killed when she too tried crossing San Jose Boulevard just a few blocks from where Kaitlyn was hit.

"We've been screaming for three years innocent people are going to die in Jacksonville, in crosswalks, and guess what? We ain't done yet. More people are going to die," said Block.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Fortunato lives on the 9600 block of Bayou Bluff Drive. It's the same home Action News visited in 2009 to talk to the driver involved in the crash that killed Kaitlyn. Michael Fortunato was never charged for Kaitlyn's death.

Action News dug through the property records and found out Fortunato has owned the home since 1996. We knocked on his door for comment but no one answered.

As the investigation continues, an entire community is mourning the loss of a mother and another family is working to keep alive the memory of a little girl.

"I wanted to do something in Kaitlyn's name and try to get Kaitlyn's law passed, which is to sync up all the time. Traffic is going to be a little more congested, it's going to be a little bit more inconvenienced. Is that better than killing people?" said Block.

Block sued the City of Jacksonville, the light manufacturer, and the developer of the intersection but eventually had to drop the lawsuit because the city was immune to certain types of litigation.

According to FHP, they are still waiting for paperwork from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office to confirm any type of connection between the two cases.
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Realchange - 9/16/2013 4:08 AM
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People do stupid things sometimes. I have recently seen a grown man walking down the middle of a road after 10 pm. He was in the middle of the right lane of the road. He had just left from a store and looked to be drunk. I have seen a group of 4 kids varying in age from 8 to 17 walk out to middle of road. 3 stop the 4th kid walks right out into path of an oncoming vehicle because he failed to stop with the rest. I have seen pedestrians that try to get hit by cars to collect money. I have seen adults walk out into a 30 mph congested area and feel the cars will stop for them even though they barely stand clear the tops of parked cars. I have seen people on a crowded side single lane street refuse to walk on the grass resulting in cars nearly side swiping each other as the one car tries to stop or get over to avoid hitting the pedestrian as the street is to narrow to accommodate two cars and a pedestrian. Yet there is plenty of grass usually at least 30 ft or so. Presuming that car drivers are at fault for every single accident is bad idea. A lot pedestrians are worse than animals when it comes to crossing roads with common sense and logic.
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