Van de Puta was at a crosswalk, an indictment pending against the driver

Former Texas state senator Leticia Van de Puta was legally walking in a marked crosswalk after turning on a pedestrian light when she was hit by a large sports vehicle in the Orlando area earlier this month, Florida Road Patrol officials said.

Van de Puta, 67, a well-known figure in San Antonio, was thrown 10 to 15 feet into the air, according to what her husband heard from one officer investigating the accident, and suffered multiple crises and a blow to the head. She’s still in good condition at San Antonio University Hospital. She was flown from a Florida hospital back to San Antonio last week by AirMed, a medical transportation service.

Indictments are pending against an Illinois driver who hit her, Florida Road Patrol officials said.

The official accident report has not yet been released, but the law enforcement agency provided a summary of the incident, which occurred at 2:15 p.m. on April 3rd.

Van de Pott and her husband, Pete, were staying at a hotel about 15 miles west of Orlando Airport after their flight home to San Antonio was canceled the day before. The area where she was injured is in Orange County, but outside the city of Orlando.

The couple went out that Sunday afternoon to buy essential items because their luggage had already been flown back to San Antonio. They marched to separate destinations.

At a large intersection surrounded by small shops and restaurants, Leticia Van de Puta activated the pedestrian crossing, then began marching past Daryl Carter Parkway at a marked crosswalk, Florida Road Patrol officials said. It was then hit by a 2017 Nissan Armada driver who made a right turn from Regency Village Drive to Daryl Carter Parkway, the law enforcement agency reported.

The former Texas state senator and lieutenant candidate for governor Leticia van de Puta, a pharmacist, was introduced in 1984 at the pharmacy she took over from her father and grandfather.  Van de Puta, now 67 from San Antonio, suffered serious injuries when she was hit at a crosswalk in Florida by a large vehicle earlier this month and is facing a long recovery.

The former Texas state senator and lieutenant candidate for governor Leticia van de Puta, a pharmacist, was introduced in 1984 at the pharmacy she took over from her father and grandfather. Van de Puta, now 67 from San Antonio, suffered serious injuries when she was hit at a crosswalk in Florida by a large vehicle earlier this month and is facing a long recovery.

Byron Sampford / San Antonio Express News

The driver, whose name was not released, was “very upset” and immediately got out of his car, Florida Road Patrol officials said. He stayed with Van de Puta and tried to help her until an ambulance arrived.

Ada also informed a Florida state police officer that Van de Puta was at the crosswalk when the former senator was injured and that she had a walking signal that allowed her to cross the intersection.

At the intersection where the accident occurred there are long and well-marked traffic lights and crossings on all four sides, according to Google Maps photos.

Van de Puta never lost consciousness and managed to give passers-by her husband’s cell phone number. He ran to the scene of the accident and got there just as an ambulance arrived, then drove with her to the hospital.

The former well-known senator was taken to HCA Florida Osceola Hospital in Kissimmee, where she stayed for five days before being flown to San Antonio University Hospital.

She suffered many serious injuries, including fractures in her pelvic area, two broken ribs, compressed vertebrae in her lower back, a subdural hemorrhage in her brain and cuts to her arms and legs, according to what her husband told the San Antonio Express-News last week. The Florida Highway Patrol said its injuries were not life-threatening.

Van de Pot’s husband said she was facing a long recovery.

The couple had just sailed for a cruise, then traveled to Orlando Airport the day before the accident to fly home to San Antonio. But their flight and hundreds of others were canceled that weekend due to bad weather and technological problems. So they went to a hotel.

Van de Puta eventually managed to get a ticket for a flight home to San Antonio herself the day after the accident, followed by her husband the next day. But her injuries changed those plans.

She was first placed in the intensive care unit at the university hospital when she arrived there a week ago. She is getting better every day, according to a statement released by her family.

Van de Puta is a high-profile Democrat who served 24 years in the Texas Legislature – as a state representative from 1991 to 1999, and then as a senator from 1999 to March 2015.

She was the Democratic nominee for deputy governor in 2014 as the partner of Wendy Davis, who ran for governor of Texas.

The two women lost the election to Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott, respectively.

After resigning from the Texas Senate, Van de Puta ran for mayor of San Antonio in 2015, but narrowly lost to Ivy Taylor.

Van de Putte is the president of a consulting and lobbying firm, Andrade-Van de Putte & Associates, which she co-founded with her friend, former Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade.

She has been married to Pete van de Puta for almost 45 years. They have six children and many grandchildren.

pohare@express-news.net | Twitter: Peggy_OHare

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