FHP: Clearwater man killed when hit by out-of-control vehicle

Image 1 of 2

An evening walk turned tragic for a Clearwater couple Monday when a vehicle drove onto the sidewalk and killed one of them.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers say the driver of a Jeep veered off Feather Sound Drive at the corner of Vizcaya Drive, just south of the Feather Sound Country Club, around 4 p.m. Monday.

The view from SkyFOX showed what troopers later confirmed was a white 2017 Jeep Patriot that had failed to negotiate a curve, drove across the oncoming lane, and then onto the adjacent sidewalk.

Troopers say the Jeep hit a couple walking on the sidewalk before going into a ditch and finally hitting a concrete retaining wall.

Troopers say the Jeep was being driven by 24-year-old Gregory Robert Gleason of Clearwater.

On the sidewalk were 67-year-old Robert Kirby Parker and 55-year-old Laurie Bain Parker, both of Clearwater. Laurie suffered minor injuries, but Robert died at the scene.

People who live near the spot where Robert Parker was killed say it's not the first accident they've seen.

"The speeding along Feather Sound Drive is a constant problem," said Wendy Schechner. 

FHP has not said whether speed was a factor in this crash, but in a post on the mobile app NextDoor, a resident shared concerns about the same stretch of road where the crash happened.

“People complain about it all the time. People are just flying going down these roads,” Schechner said. “Even though we have sidewalks where people are, you can see it didn’t matter in this case because they were walking on the sidewalk.”

While Robert Parker’s family grieves, residents say his death makes them nervous to walk their own neighborhood.

"I believe this is a 25-miles-per-hour zone and people are flying, going 55 miles per hour, even passing you if you’re going too slow," Schechner said. "It's super unfortunate but it, kind of, was bound to happen."

Gleason was seriously injured and taken to Bayfront Medical. Charges are pending against him.