Troopers seize SUV in Westside hit-and-run that killed father

Brad Kirk's mother sends message to driver sought: 'You are a monster'

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor , News4Jax.com Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - About 12 hours after a father of three was killed in a hit-and-run Thursday evening on Jacksonville's Westside, troopers seized the SUV involved in the crash, the Florida Highway Patrol said. 

About 10 p.m. Thursday, troopers said, 29-year-old Bradley Kirk was walking east on the shoulder of West Beaver Street -- near Whitehouse Baptist Church on Celery Avenue -- when he was hit and killed by a blue Chevy Equinox.

The driver of the Equinox, which is missing the right passenger side-view mirror, left the scene, troopers said. 

The SUV was later found in a neighborhood about two miles away, but the driver has not yet been found, the Highway Patrol confirmed Friday to News4Jax.

Kirk's parents, Robert and Sophia, said they are devastated, but they're hopeful the driver will be caught soon.

"That is just a monster. It's a true monster. You are a monster. You took my son away that has three children -- the youngest one is 1 year old," Sophia said. "He was a great father and you took him away."

Brad Kirk

The couple said they're angry and hurt that someone would leave their son, who's a father of three children, to die without stopping to help or call police. 

"How could you do that? You know that's a human being, so would you like that to be done to your family? You got to think about things like that," Sophia said. "The worst thing a parent can get is a call at 10 o'clock at night, saying your son just got him by a car."

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Kirk's family with funeral expenses. 

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said that though the crash was by no means Kirk's fault, it's a good idea to always walk in the opposite direction of traffic, so pedestrians can see oncoming vehicles at all times in case a driver leaves the roadway.

There have been four fatal hit-and-run crashes in the area this year, including Kirk's. No arrests have been made in any of them.

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