Naples man faces murder charge for intentionally running over woman

NBC2 Fort Myers
NBC2 Fort Myers

GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Fla. — A 50-year-old Naples man is facing a murder charge after deputies say he intentionally ran over a woman with his vehicle and killed her Monday night.

Around 8:40 p.m., Collier County deputies responded to a report of a possible domestic disturbance involving a woman who was run over by a minivan in the 1100 block of Dove Tree Street in Golden Gate Estates.

When deputies arrived, the driver of a blue minivan identified as 50-year-old Donald Lee Whitaker of 960 14th St. S.E., was outside the vehicle holding the woman.

Deputies immediately performed CPR on the woman until paramedics arrived, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. The woman was brought to Naples Community Hospital North East with critical injuries but was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.

One witness saw this happen while she was driving down Dove Tree Street to return a truck and horse trailer to a friend.

“She was sobbing and she couldn’t move. I asked her if she was ok and she said no,” said the witness.

So she called for help. Then, she noticed a suspicious minivan parked nearby.

“Next thing I know while I am on the phone with 911… he just punched it and ran her over and killed her.”

She told Collier County deputies she saw rocks shooting from the back tires as the driver accelerated.

Then she said the driver got out and tried to carry the woman from under her armpits back into the minivan.

“I am screaming at him, put her f****** down. You just killed her, put her down,” said the witness.

Additionally, Whitaker then tried to perform CPR on the victim. Deputies found blood, hair and human tissue on the passenger side of his minivan.

Whitaker was interviewed by detectives and was then placed under arrest.

“This individual is in our custody, thanks to the swift response by deputies and a Good Samaritan who stopped to help and contacted law enforcement,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said.

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