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Fund raiser set to aid family who lost child

By Staff | Jun 19, 2010

A hog roast and poker run on June 27 will benefit the family of a Cape Coral girl who was fatally struck by a truck while she was playing on a skateboard.
Abigail Lynn Janssen, 7, was playing on the driveway of a home in the 800 block of Northeast 11th Terrace when the accident occurred at about 8 p.m. on June 2. She and another child, Anna McManus, 10, were each laying chest down on a skateboard and rolling down the driveway, according to officials.
Jacob Aaron Amann, 27, of 1229 N.W. 25th Place, Apt. 3, was driving west on Northwest 11th Terrace in a 2004 Ford truck and he did not see the girls until they entered the roadway on the skateboards, police reported. Amann hit his brakes and veered to the left in an attempt to avoid hitting them.
The investigation indicates that the front right tire of the vehicle struck Abigail, who was fatally injured. Anna, who was following behind Abigail, was struck by the rear tire and had non-life threatening injuries, officials said.
Friends of Abigail’s parents, Chris and Mandy, are planning the hog roast and poker run to help the family. Michelle Lane, a co-worker of Mandy’s at Bottles Lounge on Del Prado Boulevard North, said the family had to borrow money to cover the funeral. They are hoping to help the couple recover some of that.
“Anything can help,” she said.
According to Lane, the family is grief-stricken about the loss.
“Abby was Mandy and Chris’ only daughter, that was their only child,” she said. “Her parents are very lost without her. We all are.”
Lane added that Abby was the first female born in Chris’ family in 45 years.
“She was just out playing, doing what she loved to do, being a tomboy,” she said of the tragedy.
The poker run will kick off at 11 a.m. at Bottles Lounge and players are asked to arrive between 10 and 11 a.m. to register. The cost is $10 per poker hand. The proceeds will be split in half, with one half going to the person with the best hand and the other half going to Abby’s family.
“A lot of times during a poker run, whoever wins the pot will donate the money back to the family,” Lane said.
The stops on the poker run will be at North Oriols, Bulldogs Roadhouse, Slip Knot and Crossroads, then back to Bottles Lounge, located at 111 N.E. Del Prado Blvd. N. The hog roast will follow for $5 per plate. There will be a mix of food items, such as chicken dumplings and sausage, peppers and onions.
“Everybody’s bringing dishes in so they’ll be a variety of food,” Lane said.
There will be a 50/50 raffle with tickets going for about $1 each. Some of the prizes to be raffled away include original paintings by Joan Roberts, gift certificates to local restaurants and Budweiser products. All are welcome.
“If we could get the community to help out, it would be wonderful,” she said.
The investigation continues into the June 2 accident. A blood sample taken from Amann has been sent to the FDLE lab for toxicology results, officials said. Samples are routinely taken in traffic crashes that involve a fatality.