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Local

Former Lee County clerk still hospitalized in Florida

Friend feels fortunate to escape with broken wrist

Nancy Nelson
Nancy Nelson

SPRING HILL, Fla. – A former Lee County clerk still is hospitalized after she and a former Dixon resident were hit by a car that plowed into the Florida restaurant where they were dining.

Friends Nancy Nelson, 68, who splits time between Rock Falls and Florida, and Kristine “Kris” Boggs, now of Inverness, Florida, met for lunch Tuesday afternoon at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Spring Hill, north of Tampa.

Barbara Markowski, 65, of Spring Hill, lost control of her car, went over a median, sideswiped a truck and hit a parked car before going through the front of the sports bar, hitting five customers, some inside and others in the parking lot.

Nelson and Boggs, seated at a window booth, took a direct hit. The parking space near the booth was empty at the time.

“I glanced out the window and saw the car out of the corner of my eye, but it happened so fast there was no time to react,” said Boggs, former human resources director for Sauk Valley Media.

Boggs miraculously escaped with a broken wrist, while Nelson was airlifted to Bayonet Point Trauma Center in Hudson, Florida.

SVM could not reach Nelson’s husband, Richard, but he told Tampa’s WFLA Channel 8 that his wife had two broken ribs, two broken ankles and head lacerations.

The driver and three other restaurant patrons were taken by ambulance to area hospitals.

Boggs was home Friday, recuperating not only from her injury but also from the trauma of such a random tragedy.

“I am feeling so fortunate, but it’s the kind of thing where you almost feel guilty because of what happened to Nancy,” Boggs said. “It’s so bizarre – one of those things that you read about but never think will happen to you.”

The investigation continues, but it has been determined that the brakes on Markowski’s 2007 Saturn Ion were not working properly at the time of the crash. She has been cited for operating improper and unsafe equipment. Alcohol was not believed to be a factor.

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