Man charged with murder after running over woman with his van, killing her, deputies say

Donald Lee Whitaker, 50, is charged with second-degree murder.
Donald Lee Whitaker, 50, is charged with second-degree murder.(Collier County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 11:52 AM CST
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NAPLES, Fla. (Gray News) – A Florida man was charged with murder after detectives say he intentionally ran over a woman with his vehicle and killed her.

According to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, 50-year-old Donald Lee Whitaker is charged with second-degree murder.

The sheriff’s office said Whitaker and the victim knew each other but did not clarify their relationship.

Deputies responded to a call Monday evening for a report of a woman who had been run over by a vehicle in a Naples neighborhood.

When deputies arrived, they found the driver, later identified as Whitaker, outside the vehicle holding the victim. Responding deputies performed CPR on the victim and she was rushed to a local hospital, where she died.

According to the sheriff’s office, a witness told detectives that she was on her way to a friend’s house in the area when she saw a woman on the ground on the side of the road and a blue minivan a short distance away.

The witness told detectives she got out of her vehicle and asked the woman, who was crying, if she needed help, but the woman said no.

The witness told detectives it seemed like the driver of the minivan “seemed like he was stalking the woman,” so she called police. While she was on the phone, the minivan accelerated directly toward the victim and drove over her.

The witness said that Whitaker then got out of the minivan and attempted to pick up the victim and carry her to his vehicle, but the woman told him to stop moving her because she was really hurt.

Whitaker then tried to perform CPR on the victim, according to the witness. Deputies arrived shortly after.

Deputies arrested Whitaker and he is being held in the Collier County Jail. According to jail records, his first court date is scheduled for Dec. 27. Bond information was not available.