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Bradenton man recalls fatal SUV accident | News

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Bradenton man recalls fatal SUV accident

Bradenton, Florida -- Sitting outside his home, enjoying the unseasonably warm February temperatures, 89-year-old Fred Eringa says what happened to him at church on Sunday morning was nothing short of a shock.

"I didn't see anything happening. It was wild! It was like being blown up from a tornado!" he says.

See Also: Elderly driver crashes into group of people, 3 killed

See Also: Deadly Bradenton accident rekindles elderly driving debate

The active senior from Canada enjoys riding his bike, and has been coming to the Brandenton area for 20 years.

"It's amazing I can do that at my age!"

He was socializing with some friends at the Sugar Creek Country Club parking lot when 79-year old Doreen Landstra backed up her SUV into Fred, knocking him to the ground. His bicycle, which stood propped up behind him, was blasted into a nearby body of water.

Eringa was in a group of seven. Three were killed.

"[At that moment], you're beyond thinking. You don't know what's going on."

After so many years of attending Sunday church services, Eringa says he knows Landstra, and often sat close to her while she directed the choir. He was surprised to find out she was driving, especially after some serious health issues.

But despite bumps and bruises along his leg and side, Eringa is just happy to be out of the hospital, and alive.

"I could have been the one that got killed.  I was so close ... so close ..."

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