(WSVN) - A collision involving a South Florida police officer has left a woman frustrated after his car crashed into her yard, but it’s what happened next that left her heartbroken. Karen Hensel has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
Marilyn Gore, homeowner: “Papaya, coconuts, more mangoes…”
Marilyn Gore spends a lot of time in her yard because she grows most of her own food.
Marilyn Gore: “My food comes from my yard.”
She retired last year as a Miami-Dade public school teacher and spent days at home with her dog Max.
Marilyn Gore: “I talked to Max like you talk to a person. Max gets his food before I get mine.”
But, she says, life changed on the night of Dec. 3.
Marilyn Gore: “I heard ‘plank da plank,’ and I said, ‘Oh, God, somebody just crashed into each other.'”
So she ran outside to help.
Marilyn Gore: “So when I came out to see if anybody was hurt, I realized my fence was in disarray, and the car was lodged right there and knocked all those pots down, as you can see.”
Little did she know then that night would bring months of frustration, exhaustion and desperation.
Desperation that would begin weeks later with her beloved Belgian Malinois Max.
Marilyn Gore: “I cook for him, and it was a little warm, so I said, ‘OK, Max, let’s go wet the plants, and when we come back, we will eat together.'”
They would never get that chance.
With the fence down, Max ran into the street when he saw another dog and was hit by a car.
Marilyn Gore: “When I saw him out there and he died…”
Marilyn now says she has trouble sleeping because part of her security fence is still down.
Two months later, Marilyn can’t escape the memory of that night seeing the mangled fence and the car’s bumper left behind in her yard.
According to the traffic crash report, an on-duty Miami-Dade Police officer was driving a rental car at the time.
The report says the woman driving the other car “failed to stop at the red light” crashing into the officer’s car and sending it through Marilyn’s fence.
Marilyn Gore: “I thought since the police broke it, they would have been the one to take the responsibility and go after the lady, but they leave everything for me to do, and nobody is helping.”
Marilyn says she has made calls every day not only to Miami-Dade Police, but also the other driver’s insurance adjuster.
Finally, she got a call back that was even more infuriating.
The adjuster told Marilyn to make the claim with her own homeowner’s insurance.
Marilyn Gore: “I don’t want to use my insurance and then my premium goes up, and then, eventually, they drop my homeowner’s insurance. I can’t take that risk.”
So we called the insurance company.
Karen Hensel: “Hi, This is Karen Hensel with WSVN 7News.”
Just like for Marilyn, it also repeatedly went to voicemail.
Meanwhile, Miami-Dade County investigated and ruled they “cannot be held liable for this accident and/or damages to your property” because the other driver “ran the red light.”
Marilyn Gore: “Part of the bumper is still there.”
Marilyn has sleepless nights because neither side involved in the accident is helping her, and she still has regrets about Max.
Marilyn Gore: “That day he died, he didn’t get to eat, and I was so heartbroken.”
Marilyn says between this fence, at $1,000 to replace, and so many of her plants ruined, a major food source for her, she can’t even begin to think about replacing Max. A Belgian Malinois can also be thousands of dollars. For now, she just wants to feel safe.
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