Grandmother killed, man injured in Southside hit-and-run

Florida Highway Patrol looking for vehicle that left scene

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter, Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Her grandson's wedding. Her granddaughter's high school graduation.

Dolores Gunby won't be at either after her life was taken early Monday by a hit-and-run driver.

Gunby’s daughter, Cheryl Villatoro, described her mother as a loving, kind grandmother to Villatoro's two children -- a 17-year-old girl, who’s about to graduate high school, and a 20-year-old man, who’s about to get married.

“She’s very sad,” Villatoro said of her daughter. “She’s getting ready to graduate in May. Grandma won’t be there. My son's getting married. She won’t be there. They took away her life.”

Gunby, 68, from Pauline, South Carolina, and her friend, 51-year-old Michael Ragaglia, of Fort Lauderdale, were hit while crossing the westbound lanes of Beach Boulevard at Discovery Way, just west of San Pablo Road, at 12:34 a.m., troopers said.

Gunby died at the scene. Ragaglia suffered minor injuries, troopers said.

Villatoro said she woke to a state trooper at her door, saying her mom had been hit and killed.

Dolores on Scooter“You never think you’re going to wake up and this is going to happen to you in your life,” Villatoro said. “You feel like somebody could pinch you and wake you up out of a bad dream is the way I feel -- like, 'Wake me.'”

Investigators said they believe the vehicle involved might be a 2016-2018 Honda Civic. The color of the car is not known, but it will have moderate damage to the right front of the vehicle, including a damaged or missing headlight.

Anyone with information on vehicle matching that description is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS or *FHP.

A CrimeStoppers representative told Villatoro the organization is offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the hit-and-run.

While they wait for justice, Villatoro said her family is remembering the joy her mother brought.

She laughed as she described a photograph of her mother on a family trip to Disney in 2016.

“She was riding on a scooter at Disney, and she was telling all of the little kids in their little strollers, 'Hey, you want to race?'” Villatoro said. “It was just the greatest thing.”

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