When Brien Pursell went out for a short three-mile run with his son-in-law Frankie Pesce III almost five years ago, he would never get to complete his last mile before being struck by a vehicle and killed at the age of 58.

This year, the family’s annual memorial run through downtown Pensacola, The Last Mile 5K Run/Walk, will be held on the exact anniversary of his death on Nov. 21.

While running from one neighborhood to the next in search of a better-lit area, the men had to spend only about a quarter of a mile running along the bike lane of U.S. Route 98 in Gulf Breeze.

Their backs turned to traffic while running, Frankie said neither men saw the vehicle coming. His father-in-law was killed in an instant on impact, all the injuries he sustained were from within.

As paramedics failed to find any signs of life, Pursell was never taken to a hospital. All Frankie was left to do was make the call to his wife, Kristin, telling her she needed to get over there as fast as she could.

“I ran out of the house with no shoes on,” Kristen said, jumping into her car barefoot the night of the accident. “There was a police officer outside the entrance, and I said, ‘If you don’t let me out there, I’m going to get out of this car and run.’”

As police let her through, she surveyed the eerie highway, closed off to all incoming traffic, but was greeted by a blinding sea of bright, flashing lights. 

“I just knelt down in the dirt,” Kristen said. “I looked at the medic and I said, ‘Is he breathing?’”

“We’re trying to figure that out,” the medic assured her.

Holding his hand in hers, telling him “I love you so much,” she made the determination for herself.

“He’s not …….

Source: https://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/pensacola/2021/11/15/last-mile-family-pensacola-man-hit-car-while-jogging-plan-5-k/8590690002/

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