PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (WFLA) — An elderly Pinellas Park woman known for her generous nature was killed in a freak accident at a Tampa Bay area recycling company.
What most of us throw away, Ida Pocheco turned in for cash.
Just after 11:30 Tuesday morning, the 82-year old wandered into an area where she shouldn’t have been, and it cost her her life.
“We believe the front-end loader struck this female. Unbeknownst to the operator of the front-end loader, he continued to operate the front loader and at some point ended up accidentally running over this individual as well,” said Sgt. Michael Lynch of the Pinellas Park Police Department.
With a load in the shovel, the driver of a 31,000-pound machine at Recycling Services of Florida had his forward vision obscured. He didn’t notice Pocheco in his path.
The loader hit Pocheco on one side, then ran over her. The driver didn’t realize what happened until he returned for another load.
“Oh no. This can’t be possible. This can’t be happening,” said Jeff Thompson.
Thompson and his friend, Susan Brunell, share Pocheco’s Pinellas Park home.
Both told of Pocheco’s insistence of selling recyclables and using proceeds for her church.
“She’d go to certain people that didn’t have much, she’d go out of her way to give them what she could. She’d even use her scrap money from scrapping her cardboard just to help somebody,” said Brunell.
“She gives people free food. Everything. She’s a very, she’s a very good person,” said Thompson.
In Pocheco’s neighborhood, her closest friend advised her to slow things down.
“She didn’t have to work that hard, and she was the type that illness, where you have to keep moving,” said Ethel Smyrski.
Pinellas Park police believe the death is just a horrible accident. They don’t anticipate any criminal charges.