Child with local ties dies in Florida accident

PHOTO PROVIDEDEd and Heather Savage with their son, Eli, and daughter, Brianna Rose, who died in an accident Tuesday near the family's home in Riverview, Fla. 

RIVERVIEW — A local family is mourning the loss of a young child in a tragic accident in Florida.

Ed and Heather Savage, formerly of Plattsburgh, lost their 3-year-old daughter, Brianna, in an accident Tuesday morning in Riverview.

At about 7:30 that day, Heather had walked their 8-year-old son, Eli, to the bus stop and was headed home with her daughter, the new family puppy and a neighborhood friend.

They were near the intersection of Hampton Meadow Way and Legacy Bright Street, with their house within view, when Brianna was struck by a Dodge pickup truck driven by Christian Madson, 33.

Madson told the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office that he had "looked to the right and saw the ladies walking the dog and did not see Brianna," the report said.

"He heard the impact with the truck and stopped to see what he had hit when he realized he had struck a little girl."


But Heather said Madson was driving on the wrong side of the road when his truck hit her daughter.

She said Brianna had been about two arm's lengths ahead of her on the walk home.

The little girl had safely crossed the street, with no cars in sight, from where the sidewalk ends over to an area in front of their house.

"She had made it all the way to the other side and was standing about 2 feet from the sidewalk in front of house, waiting for her mommy, holding her sippy cup," Heather said Thursday between sobs.

"She was out of harm's way."

Heather said that suddenly the truck appeared on the unlined street.

"He should have been on the other side of the road. He was riding in the opposite lane, and he looked at me and (her friend) Brandy walking. I didn't realize how far to the left he was."

The truck struck Brianna, who was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital South, where she was pronounced dead.

The investigation into the accident was continuing.


Brianna Rose was born in Plattsburgh on Jan. 17, 2014.

Mr. Savage, a native of Plattsburgh, had worked at Della Mitsubishi before the family moved to Florida.

Mrs. Savage is from Saranac Lake and had worked as an ad associate at the Press-Republican and the Tampa Bay Times.

Brianna and Eli are the grandchildren of Susan (Goetz) Chaney and Dennis Chaney of Plattsburgh.

"We are all devastated," said Susan, who is an advertising sales representative at the Press-Republican.

"She was a beautiful little girl."


Calling hours and funeral services will be held in Florida.

A candlelight vigil is set for 8 tonight at the Park Creek Community Clubhouse on Legacy Bright Street in Riverview.

Calling hours will be 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28, at Serenity Meadows Memorial Park Funeral Home, 6919 Providence Road, Riverview.

Services will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29, at the Funeral Home.

A GoFundMe page has been set up, called Memorial Fund for Brianna Savage. 

Email Lois Clermont:

Twitter: @EditorLois

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