PUNTA GORDA — Carl Edward Patrick, or ‘Ed’ as his friends called him, had a tough exterior. Neighbors said the 54-year-old Punta Gorda man often rode his Harley-Davidson to his favorite local haunt and lived a ‘biker lifestyle.’
However Patrick’s hardened shell melted like butter in the presence of children, and anytime the neighborhood youths were playing outside, he would stop, set his kickstand and come over for a few minutes to chat with the kids.
‘He adored my 20-month-old daughter, Serenity,’ said Chris Boyd, who lives just down the street on Oliphant Lane. ‘Anytime we were outside he would stop and talk to us. He was a really nice guy.’
Friends and neighbors were shocked to hear of Patrick’s death Friday.
Patrick was riding his motorcycle around 10 p.m. Thursday when he was hit and killed while traveling south on U.S. 41 near Con-stitution Boulevard, south of Fort Myers, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.
The woman who hit him dragged his body and his motorcycle for about three miles before she was stopped by a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy, the report shows.
‘I just hope that he died quickly,’ neighbor Scott Ditota said with tears in his eyes. ‘He was a good person, and I hate to think that he suffered.’
Donna Lynne Brown, 54, of Estero, reportedly was charged with DUI manslaughter, DUI with property damage, hit and run with death, DUI and careless driving, in connection with the accident that resulted in Patrick’s death. She was taken to the Lee County Jail, where she is being held on $70,000 bond.
Brown is scheduled to appear in court June 10.
According to the FHP report, Brown did not see Patrick while making a U-turn at Constitution, and struck the rear of Patrick’s Harley-Davidson. After impact, Brown reportedly failed to stop at the crash scene and continued on U.S. 41 for approximately three miles, dragging Brown and his motorcycle under her Lexus SUV.
An LCSO deputy witnessed sparks coming from the undercarriage of her vehicle and pulled Brown over just north of Corkscrew Road, according to the report.
Patrick’s friend Brandon Logsdon, 21, was shocked when he heard the news.
‘Ed wasn’t just another biker,’ Logsdon said. ‘Ed was my neighbor and Ed was my friend.’
Logsdon and his stepfather, Patrick’s neighbor Ditota, remembered Patrick with fondness. They teared up, then chuckled at the thought of Patrick’s prized goats terrorizing the neighborhood.
‘He loved those goats, but they would always jump the fence and get out,’ Ditota said. ‘Once I came home and one of them was sitting on my couch in the garage.’
Logsdon said while Patrick’s farm animals annoyed the adult neighbors by eating up their landscaping, they delighted the neighborhood children.
‘Ed loved those animals so much because they were the link to the kids,’ Logsdon said. ‘He loved when the kids would come up the street to his house to see his animals.’
Logsdon said Patrick was a great friend.
‘He was laid back and friendly,’ Logsdon said. ‘People talk about karma, but it doesn’t apply in this case. Ed was one of the good guys.’