Sitting around wasn't Anita Mason's style.
The 64-year-old loved to walk everywhere with the assistance of her trusty four-wheeled walker — whether it was to buy gifts for her two grandchildren or to satisfy a chocolate fix.
But her nearly daily excursions to the stores just blocks from her Winter Springs nursing home were abruptly ended Thursday night when she was struck by a car and killed.
Mason was heading home from a trip to her local pharmacy and Walmart about 8:45 p.m. and crossed Red Bug Lake Road, but 19-year-old Bryan Tavarez didn't see her, said Sgt. Kim Montes, a Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman.
Tavarez was heading eastbound in his 2000 Nissan when he hit Mason near Willa Springs Drive, west of Tuskawilla Road, Montes said. The accident closed eastbound Red Bug Lake Road for several hours.
The street was dark, and Mason was wearing dark clothing and was not in a crosswalk, troopers said.
"A witness said nobody saw her," Montes said, adding she has been to many crash scenes but Tavarez's sorrow was palpable. "He was inconsolable."
Mason was taking her usual path home, pushing along north to south right into the path of the car, officials said. Montes said charges are not expected.
She was taken to Florida Hospital Altamonte, where she died.
Mason's son Troy Mason said his mother's ambling adventures were her way of keeping some sense of independence after moving into the Emeritus Senior Living facility a few years ago. It wasn't unusual for Mason to venture out, but rarely at night, her son said.
Anita Mason had few hobbies — besides tuning faithfully to the classic movie channel with friends at the home. She retired after several years in the food-service industry.
She was a recreational shopper, an extrovert and especially, a chocoholic.
"I wouldn't be surprised if she was out to fulfill an urge for chocolate," Troy Mason said. "She was a huge advocate of people who made chocolate cakes."
Pedestrian Tales From the Middle of the Road, #36