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Former Waterford woman dies in Florida accident

Published May 10. 2011 4:00AM

A former Waterford resident was killed in a freak accident in Florida Saturday, struck by a truck while riding her bicycle on the Sanibel Causeway and thrown into the water.

According to a story in The News-Press, a southwest Florida newspaper, 46-year-old Tracey A. Kleinpell was riding on the causeway's shoulder toward Sanibel Island with her husband, Gordon, when a truck heading in the opposite direction drifted across the lane and hit Kleinpell.

The impact sent Kleinpell over the waist-high guardrails and into San Carlos Bay, according to the article. Passing boaters retrieved Kleinpell and brought her to shore, where former Marine T.J. Liberty performed CPR until paramedics arrived, the article said.

Kleinpell was pronounced dead at the scene. The article said it is not known whether impact from the collision with the vehicle or water caused Kleinpell's death.

Kleinpell was a fitness instructor and an avid bicyclist and runner, The News-Press said, adding that the causeway ride was one the Kleinpells, who celebrated their 10th anniversary April 21, made almost every weekend.

A wedding announcement in The Day in 2001 said Kleinpell was a graduate of Waterford High School, although it didn't list the year, and her parents were formerly of Quaker Hill.

On her Facebook page, Kleinpell had said she was looking forward to a trip to Italy this month. She also wrote about visiting Connecticut a few weeks ago.

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