‘My grandmother is dead because of your foolishness:’ Family speaks after woman killed by suspects fleeing police

Family says they refuse to allow cause behind Marie Merisier’s death to go unexplained

The family of 73-year-old Marie Merisier said the news of what led to the fatal crash is hard to come to terms with.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The family of a 73-year-old woman is speaking out after she was killed in an Orlando crash involving two suspects wanted in connection with a Daytona Beach homicide who were fleeing police.

Marie Merisier died in the crash, which happened Tuesday on Rio Grande Avenue.

Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said an authorized police pursuit of two men began when a vehicle was identified in connection with the homicide. The car was spotted in the area of John Young Parkway and L.B. McLeod Road. A short time later, the vehicle turned onto Rio Grande Avenue, where the vehicle crashed into a car, killing Merisier.

“Do you know how many people’s lives you put in danger? Now, my grandmother is dead,” said Merisier’s granddaughter, Yvena Laurent.

Laurent said her retired grandmother was on her way to collect clothes she planned to donate to Haiti when she got caught in the path of the fleeing vehicle and was struck.

Two suspects wanted in connection with a Daytona Beach homicide investigation caused a fatal crash in Orlando Tuesday while attempting to avoid officers after an authorized pursuit, according to Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon.

“My brother called me frantic. (He) just said something about my mom and I just came straight home. When I got here, state troopers were waiting for me. They spoke to me and then they left,” Laurent said.

The family said they refuse to allow the cause behind her tragic death to go unexplained.

“My hardworking working grandmother is dead because of your foolishness,” she said.

The driver accused of causing the crash was identified by Daytona Beach police as 29-year-old Willie Walker. A 33-year-old passenger was also in the car, police said.

Laurent said she hopes measures of justice will be sought out.

The Florida Highway Patrol said criminal charges are pending against the driver.