A woman who was visiting Longboat Key died Friday night, after a Jeep sport-utility vehicle struck her as she attempted to cross Gulf of Mexico Drive.
A Longboat Key police report identified the pedestrian as Jo F. Schatterman, 73, of Elk Grove Village, Ill., and the driver as Petar Sibinkic, 36, of Sarasota. Sibinkic is the owner of Your Fitness Instructor, on Longboat Key.
Longboat Key firefighters and police responded to the scene about 6:30 p.m. in the 2300 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive. According to a news release, Schatterman was attempting to cross the road heading toward the Islander Club. The release identified Sibinkic as a “Longboat Key businessman” and said that he was headed home from work southbound on Gulf of Mexico Drive and attempted to avoid striking Schatterman but was unable to do so. Sibinkic stopped immediately to render aid and call 911.
Firefighters and police attempted to provide treatment, however, Schatterman died at the scene. Family members of both Schatterman and Sibinkic came to the scene, the release states.
A Sarasota Police Department traffic homicide responded to conduct the investigation. Traffic was limited to one-lane passage for nearly two hours Friday night as police investigated. A full crash report will likely take several weeks to complete, according to police.
The crash was the first traffic fatality to occur on Longboat Key in nearly seven years. The last fatal accident occurred in April 2005, when 79-year-old Seaplace resident Monroe “Buddy” Greenbaum was struck by a car while riding his bicycle. He died minutes later.
Update: An investigation by Sarasota police concluded in March that pedestrian Jo Schatterman was at fault for the crash for stepping into the path of the SUV driven by Petar Sibinkic, who was not charged in the crash.
Town officials met with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) representatives in June and discussed working together on a study of traffic safety within town limits.