FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CBS) – A Medford woman, who was seven months pregnant, was killed in a horrific accident in Florida on Sunday.

Twenty-seven-year-old Alanna Masterson DeMella and her husband Michael were staying at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale when a car crashed into the poolside cabana around 1:30 p.m.

alanna Pregnant Medford Woman Killed In Cabana Crash In Florida

Alanna Masterson Demella and her husband Michael (Photo courtesy: Facebook)

Alanna was using a bathroom when a 2006 Audi sedan struck a curb, went over the sidewalk and smashed through the side of the building, pinning her.

A specially trained rescue unit had to cut through the building and the car but they were unable to save her or her child.

Witnesses say her husband appeared to be in severe shock. He was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and later released.

Masterson DeMella was a third grade teacher’s assistant at the Peirce Elementary School in Arlington.

On her Twitter page she described herself as “a wife, teacher and follower of Jesus.”

The couple was in Florida after they won an all-expenses paid vacation through the Genesis church to attend the Real Marriage Tour in Fort Lauderdale from March 16-18.

Pastor Michael Davis of Genesis says Alanna had applied for the trip by writing an essay on why it would be a blessing for their marriage. He says Alanna wrote that she was so excited about her marriage and about being a new mom, and she hoped for one last vacation before her son came.

“If you asked her what she was most excited about in life, it was to be a Mom and to experience that with Michael,” Davis says.

“She was so excited about her marriage and excited about Mike and wanted Mike to be part of this conference,” said Pastor Michael Davis of Genesis. “They wanted to have one last vacation before their son came.”

The couple decided to stay an extra day in Florida and checked into the Riverside Hotel.

“They went into this cabana at the same time. They were not in there for more than two to three minutes, and then there was a big crash, a big noise. He didn’t know exactly what had happened,” said Davis.

“He just couldn’t get to his wife in time and just knew she was gone,” said Davis.

Pastor Davis says he is doing all he can to support Mike as he returns home. “They’ve had baby showers, baby gifts, baby clothing. He’s going to come to a house that is ready to embrace a new family member. The pain of walking into a house without his best friend,” Pastor Davis pauses with tears in his eyes, “Is going to be devastating.”


Fort Lauderdale Police said Monday the driver, 34-year-old Rosa Rivera Kim of Plantation, Florida, was in stable condition at a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

No charges have been filed at this point in the investigation.

However, Arlington’s School Superintendent sent a letter to parents Monday informing them of DeMella’s death and noted that she was “killed by a drunk driver.”

That statement was later revised to say DeMella “was killed when the building she was in was hit by a out-of-control automobile.” Police would not comment on that, saying only they are waiting for toxicology test results.

Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Travis Mandell told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Monday they are pursuing all leads.

“Anything’s possible at this time,” he said.

“This is an absolute tragedy. You’ve got a family who lost a wife and an unborn child. You have family up in Massachusetts who are never going to see their daughter again. I mean, you have a husband who’s flying home alone without his wife and his unborn child.

“We are going to leave no stone unturned in this, and we’re going to conduct as thorough an investigation as possible to get to the bottom of this, and find out what happened and the events leading up to it,” said Mandell.


Witnesses described the scene to our affiliate,

“It was shocking, just sitting there minding your own business and one almighty bang,” hotel guest Joanne Gordon said.

She and her husband rushed to help when the car came crashing into the building. They said DeMella’s husband Michael came out of the men’s room, just feet away from his wife.

“He was just saying my wife’s in there, why did this happen, why did this happen?” said witness Darren Gordon.

“He was just (in) complete shock, he was white,” added Joanne.

The Gordons said Michael DeMella mentioned they were getting ready to head back home to Boston.

The Gordons and other hotel guests tried to reach Alanna.

“We all converged trying to rip some of the debris apart to get to the woman. I think it was too late,” Darren Gordon said.

Mike Riemondi took her pulse and told CBS Miami he believes she was killed instantly.

“I went and smashed the door, top of the door and she was laying there dead,” said Riemondi.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

Comments (23)
  1. Father to be says:

    I’m gonna be sick…

    1. Michelle Fuller Fitzgerald says:

      Me too, my only hope is that she never knew what happened. I hope her poor husband can survive this :(

  2. Matt says:

    If there is any proof that there is no God. Here it is.

    1. Who4got says:

      Matt, you must be a simpleton to be so easily convinced.

      1. Lisa says:

        I don’t think that makes Matt a simpleton…in fact I think it makes perfect sense. What kind of God would allow something like this to happen?

        Matt…I’m with you, friend.

    2. gramps says:

      Structured Religions with the exception of ‘Islam’ are wonderful outlets for people who fear death, constantly need their hands held or were never taught right from wrong….

      For the rest, ‘Pure Dribble’!


  3. Linder says:

    You just wonder, how something like this happens. This is one of the saddest lose of mother and baby I have heard. I pray the husband can cope and heal in time with this unbelievable senseless tragedy. My prayers for the entire family.

  4. Linder says:

    Kristin, you shouldnt be allowed to post!!! You are sick low life. A beautiful woman died and her unborn baby dies as well. How do you sleep at night? Why dont you post your whole given name. Because you are nothing but a sleazy coward!!

  5. Kam says:

    Wow..Kristin…Please..please..please let me find out who you are!! You insensitive moron. Clearly you are lonely creep who has nothing better to do. You by any chance wanna tell me your name?

  6. Linder says:

    I reported, need to report it too and any one else seeing this. Im at a lose for words that someone could be so mean, nasty and uncaring. How would Kristin feel if this was her best friend or sister. Maybe this will haunt her when someone close to her dies if she has any one close to her. Words fail me!!

    I hope they take her privledges away for good.

    1. Rob Cleary says:

      I guess postings are only acceptable if they follow your party line. No matter what Kristen said, your attempt at censorship is more appalling. Did Al Gore hire you?

      1. Linder says:

        Rob, you are only saying that becasue your comments were so dispicable and Kriestins, were the height of total ignorance in a time like this when Mom and child die so violently. You were deleted over and over again.

        No, both of your behavior is not acceptable when something like this so sad happens and you two morons treat this with jokes and fodder for your own boredom and entertainment. SHAME ON?

        How would you feel iF this was your sister, wife, BEST FRIEND or mother??? Think about your loved ones and how would you feel if they were violated killed this way??


      2. gramps says:

        Don’t respond to the ‘magot’, it only encourages him!


      3. Rob Cleary says:

        Death is inevitable. There is no logical reason to grieve

      4. Linder says:

        you have a real serious disconnect. Only people like yourself that make that kind of statment and believe what you said, are sociaopathic,…borderline personality,..schizophrenic

        By all your comments and now this statement, sadly, you are already dead inside!

      5. Andrea says:

        Yes but why are you acting like a preacher? Gosh calm down. If only you could make good people by imposing on them…

      6. Linder says:

        Andrea, not sure if you are talking to me or Rob, but assumning its me, you werent here and didnt see his and Kristens post. They were over the top on this article,..they were reported,.. and yes the paper obvioulsy agreed they were totally inappropriate and needed to be deleted. Im guessing Rob could have been Kristen. Whichever, these two posters posted for their own sick entertainment.

        Personally I think the paper needs to remove this article or close the comments!

  7. Linder says:

    Further more Al Gore would have deleted you as well. and rightly so. This was a totally different type of censorship. If you had something important and worth while listening to that no one agreed on and were censored, I would agree,.but not the garbabe you two posted. Im so happy to see the paper let you know how unacceptable your behavior was and is. ITs a privledge to post,..use it wisely and go GET A LIFE!!!

    People are born with commom sense. They dont acquire it,, you and Kristan are in deep trouble.

  8. CarolR says:

    These folks in FL have gone crazy! Think I’ll stay home!

  9. Rick D'alessandro jr says:

    I am completely speechless. My prayers are with all of you. This is just unbelievable. may the husband somehow some where find the streanght to move forward. I just went through a huge loss myself and somehow this just makes me really wonder if their is a god? Im so sorry for all the family……peace be with you all somehow, just take one day at a time, it will somehow get better. not sure how but it will.. My heart breaks for you all I will keep you close to my heart

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