Friend of women killed in hit-and-run: ‘It could have been me too’
Susanne Landino and Bonnie Parry died after they were struck during a June bike ride
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Nearly six months have ticked by since Susanne Landino and Bonnie Parry were struck and killed while biking along Race Track Road in St. Johns County.
The man accused of leaving the scene of the crash, Henry Haigler, is out on bond after pleading not guilty to two charges of felony hit-and-run. He turned himself in days after the crash in June. If convicted, Haigler faces up to 30 years for each count.
One of Landino’s close friends and neighbors, Bunny Swiatocha tells News4Jax the past several months have been difficult, especially going into the holidays.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her,” Swiatocha said. “It makes me frustrated to know Thanksgiving, he was with his family and Christmas he will be with his family. Nobody else will be.”
There’s a bike that has been sitting in Swiatocha’s garage in Bartram Park since the day of the deadly crash. Landino convinced her to buy the bike one week earlier.
“I was supposed to go on that trip with them," Swiatocha said. “The night before, my back was giving me problems and I said to her that morning, ‘Susan, you and Bonnie go for the ride. I can’t, my back is killing me.'”
“I could’ve been there, it could have been me too,” she said. “If it wasn’t for my back, I would be dead.”
She said it wasn’t her time and it shouldn’t have been theirs either.
As long as the man accused of leaving the scene of the crash remains out of jail, Swiatocha says she will not have peace. She wants justice for Landino and Parry.
“I need closure," she said. “I need to see that this man pays for what he did. Not in an angry, ugly way, but he needs to own up to it and then I will have my peace.”
Haigler’s next court date is scheduled for January.
Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.