Elderly woman struck, killed on Westside

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An 87-year-old Jacksonville woman crossing Timuquana Road at Ortega Farms Boulevard on the Westside on Wednesday morning was struck by a car and killed, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

State troopers said Wilda Godwin had just left the Healing Hands Medical Clinic, a church ministry that served breakfast, and was trying to cross Timuquana just before 10 a.m. when she saw a car approaching. She tried to run, but tripped and fell, troopers said.

A Camaro driven by 25-year-old Michael Williams struck Godwin, who was not in a crosswalk, troopers said.

The FHP said Williams stopped immediately, but the fact that the car ended up quite a distance from the point of impact makes troopers believe speed was a factor in the accident.

Eyewitnesses estimated the car was doing at least 60 mph when it struck the woman. The posted speed limit on that stretch of road is 45 mph.

Carol Capo, who runs Healing Hands, told Channel 4 that traffic in the area is terrible.

"It is a busy road. I sometimes walk across to get lunch and I'm terrified every time I do it," said Capo.

Ruth Smith said that she knows Godwin and is shocked by her death.

"She is a very nice lady," said Smith. "We all come here to church to get food every Wednesday."

The latest fatality brings up ongoing issues in Jacksonville this year, as there have been dozens of pedestrians hit by cars this year.

Channel 4 Crime Analyst and Safety Expert Ken Jefferson said Wednesday that drivers need to be cautious if there's ever an elderly person on the road. Jefferson said people who live on a stretch of road like Timuquana can do something to help.

"They need to be the squeaky wheel with their city council person, based on the facts, and one of the facts is the most recent incident with this elderly person getting hit," said Jefferson.

Both westbound lanes of Timuquana and one eastbound lane were closed for about two hours while the accident was investigated and cleared.

Troopers said charges are pending further investigation.

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