A savings account has been established for the children of two women killed last Sunday in a Palm City car accident. The memorial service was held last Thursday for one of the victims.
Lynda Kruse, a 23-year-old Port St. Lucie resident, and Tiffany Russell, a 24-year-old officer with the Juno Beach Police Department, were fatally injured after their vehicle failed to negotiate a curve, swerved off Southwest Citrus Boulevard and rolled over. Neither woman was wearing a seatbelt. Consequently, they were both ejected from the vehicle, according to a report from Florida Highway Patrol.
The women killed in the accident left behind two children, a fiancée and boyfriend in law enforcement, as well as many other friends and colleagues who all had to cope with the tragic loss.
Shannon Andrews, a friend of both women, was responsible for setting up the savings account for the women’s children. Two separate accounts were established at SunTrust Bank for 2-year-old Hailey Troutman, Russell’s daughter and 4-month-old Landen, Kruse’s daughter. Donations to the savings account can be made in the names of the children or their fathers, Jeff Read and Chad Troutman, Russell’s longtime boyfriend who is a police officer with the city of Okeechobee.
Andrews and Russell became friends when she was studying to be a police officer at Indian River Community College with Andrews’ husband, who is on the Juno Police force. Andrews met Kruse through Kruse’s fiancée, Jeff Read, after he graduated from the same program. Both women were bridesmaids in Andrews’ wedding.
“I couldn’t imagine my wedding without them in it, and it’s going to be hard to look at my wedding photos,” Andrews said. She is a lead teller at the SunTrust Bank in the Sea Plum Center in Jupiter.
A memorial was organized for Russell by the Juno Police Department. Russell had worked at the department since August 2007. A memory wall on the bulletin board had also been set up at the Juno Police Department in Russell’s honor. Funeral arrangements for Kruse had not been finalized at the time the article was written.
The crash is still being investigated by Florida Highway Patrol.