LAKELAND, Fla. — An AuSable Forks woman who suffered life-threatening injuries in a car crash in Sebring, Fla., Thursday has passed away.
Barbara Gero, who was in critical condition at Lakeland Regional Medical Center following the accident that also claimed the life of her husband, Francis Gero, died there at about 2 p.m. Saturday, according to Chris Garrow of Jay, whose wife, Pamela, is Mrs. Gero’s sister.
Pamela, along with the Geros’ daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Jason Fuller, and other family members, were by her side when she passed.
“She had three sisters, two brothers and her daughter and her son-in-law with her,” Garrow said.
The Geros, who had left the North Country on Oct. 23 to spend time at their Florida residence, were traveling on U.S. 27 South just before 1 p.m. when their 2001 Ford Focus was struck by a 2003 Jaguar driven by Robert Goldstein, according to police.
The front driver’s side of Goldstein’s car hit the front driver’s side of the Ford Focus after the northbound Jaguar struck a curb at the end of a left-turn lane, causing the vehicle to enter the southbound lane.
Upon impact with the Jaguar, the Geros’ vehicle became airborne and rolled across three lanes of traffic before coming to rest on its driver’s side.
Emergency medical crews responding to the accident declared Mr. Gero deceased, according to police.
As of Sunday, Rebecca was making arrangements to bring her parents home, Garrow said, but funeral plans had not been made.
The couple had intended to head back to AuSable Forks for Christmas before returning to Florida for the winter.
“They were just the most friendliest and fun-loving people that there is,” Garrow said. “They cared about everybody. They loved all their nieces and nephews (and) grandkids.”