Driver charged after 2 women hit, killed while trying to save dog in Dickinson

DICKINSON, Texas – A driver has been charged after two women were killed Sunday when they were struck by a vehicle while trying to save a dog that was in the middle of a road in Dickinson, police said.

The crash was reported just after 8 p.m. on F.M. Road 517 at Houston Avenue.

Police said the two women parked their vehicles and turned their emergency lights on, then attempted to round up the dog. Police said 36-year-old Fernando Octaviani, of Friendswood, fatally struck the women and the dog with his 2017 Infiniti.

“That’s what she did every day, she rescued dogs.  And she saw a dog that looked like it had just been groomed run across the road, so her first instinct was to jump out and try to save it,” said Leigh Ann Kirkland, daughter of Linda Kirkland, one of the victims.

Octaviani stayed at the scene until police arrived, officials said. He was questioned and showed no signs of intoxication, officials said. Octaviani was later charged with an invalid driving license and failure to maintain financial responsibility.

“I think he got away with murder.  He illegally operated a vehicle and he killed two people.  Two families are now missing their loved ones because he decided to illegally operate a car,” said Leigh Ann Kirkland.

The victims have been identified as 66-year-old Martha Arvidsson and 69-year-old Linda Kirkland, of Dickinson. Kirkland is the mother of a former KPRC employee.

Linda Kirkland had volunteered for years with the group Southern Comforts Animal Rescue.

One of two women struck and killed by a vehicle while trying to save a dog in Dickinson.
One of two women struck and killed by a vehicle while trying to save a dog in Dickinson.

On Saturday, Linda would have celebrated her 70th birthday with her family, including her husband of 51 years.

A GoFundMe page was created to help the family of Kirkland with any uncovered expenses. Click link to donate.

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