For a developmentally disabled man of 55, Bobby Stout lived the good life.
He had two jobs: one cleaning and another washing dishes at a neighborhood tavern. He played in Special Olympics in three sports year-round. He lived independently in an apartment. He walked or took the bus most anywhere he needed to go.
"Bobby was amazing," said his sister Penny Stout of Apopka.
That was true until a car skipped a curb on North Goldenrod Road in Orlando and ran him down while he walked home shortly after midnight on July 9, 2011. The car smacked Stout off a sidewalk into a parking lot. He tumbled across four parked cars — smashing the windshield of the first — and died.
The Toyota driven by Natalie T. Houle, now 25, then slammed into a light pole and rolled. Tests recorded her blood-alcohol level at 0.169 percent, more than twice the 0.08 legal limit. Her passenger, Travis J. Main, now 27, also was charged because he said he grabbed the wheel at the critical moment. In a plea deal for vehicular manslaughter, each got a year of house arrest plus 15 years' probation.
At the Thirsty Gator tavern where he worked, everybody knew Stout's name. Today, his photograph hangs on the wall as a memorial, between University of Florida posters and beer signs.
"He was a very happy man. Very happy. He had so many friends. He didn't have an enemy in the world," said Stout's mother, Lucille Stout of Apopka. "We had over 300 people at the funeral."
Brother Bruce Stout of Oviedo recalled the time that Bobby's Special Olympics volleyball team was badly defeating — shutting out — a less-skilled team of disabled athletes. Bruce Stout said his brother pulled his teammates together and quietly urged them to let the other team score so its players would not go home humiliated.
"I was so proud," he said.
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