A newly retired hospital executive from Cape Elizabeth was hit by a car and killed when it swerved onto a sidewalk. Phil Ortolani died of a head injury. His wife and another woman also were hit. They are both in stable condition. Police are investigating the accident.
Phil Ortolani was vice president of operations at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick. After more than 25 years of service, he retired this past October. He and his wife were vacationing in Florida when they were hit by a car Wednesday afternoon while walking on a sidewalk. Ortolani was rushed to a hospital but died hours later.
The accident happened near the Tampa Convention Center. Police say it appears the 68-year-old driver of an Audi had some kind of medical problem or episode and swerved onto the sidewalk. The car jumped the curb near the Harbour Island Bridge, taking out two poles, then hitting three people on the sidewalk.
“I saw people flying,” one witness said. “It was scary — something you never want to see.”
“Staff and administration are heartbroken about the loss of their friend and long-time colleague,” Mid Coast Hospital said in a statement. “Our hearts are with Phil’s wife and family, and with all of us grieving the loss of our dear friend and mentor.”
Mason Rowell worked alongside Phil Ortolani on the construction of a new medical office building in Topsham.
“Phil was an unbelievable professional,” he said.
Ortolani is pictured in a photograph at the groundbreaking ceremony for that building.
“What an utter tragedy,” Rowell said. “To hear that, it’s just heartbreaking.”
The Ortolanis live in Cape Elizabeth. Friends and neighbors told us they can’t believe Phil’s gone. The driver of the Audi is cooperating with investigators. We’re told he may not face charges, as long as there are no medical restrictions on his license. Phil Ortolani is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. He was 66 years old.