By Steve Plunkett
A 20-year-old man crossing A1A at the Highland Beach Club crosswalk was struck by a car on New Year’s Eve and hospitalized.
Casuarina snowbird Alan Zuniss, 71, told the Florida Highway Patrol his sandal got caught on the car’s brake pedal and he couldn’t stop in time.
The FHP report said Zuniss was headed south in his 2004 Saab convertible and Tyler Wilson, age not given, Jess Itzikowitz and Drake Laurie, both 20, were crossing the highway from the west to the east at 5:50 p.m. The three said northbound cars had stopped for them and no southbound vehicles were approaching.
Wilson had made it to the northbound lane, Itzikowitz was more than halfway across the southbound lane and Laurie was in the middle of the southbound lane. The left front of the Saab collided with Laurie, propelling him onto the hood, his head striking the windshield. He was carried about 50 feet.
Saab’s left front tire collided with Itzikowitz’s left calf, and Itzikowitz fell forward onto his knees. Zuniss stopped his car about 153 feet south of the point of impact, the report said.
Zuniss was cited for failing to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and operating a motor vehicle with an expired June 2008 tag.
The accident and one without severe injuries just south of the Boca Highlands crosswalk in Boca Raton prompted a spirited discussion on whether residents are cautious around crosswalks.
“I hope our residents are setting the example,’’ Police Chief Craig Hartmann said.
“My past experience: They’re not,’’ Commissioner John Sorrelli said. “They’re the ones who are crossing when they’re not supposed to be crossing. They don’t even press the button anymore. And then they blame somebody when somebody hits them.
“The other day when these two kids were hit, New Year’s Eve, that was terrible. [It was a] Highland Beach resident,’’ Sorrelli said.