Girl, 5, dies, mother injured in Southside crash

Woman, 28, drove off road, hit tree; FHP investigating if alcohol a factor in crash

Kelsey Johnson and Crystle Heidrick
Kelsey Johnson and Crystle Heidrick

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 5-year-old girl died and her mother is in serious condition after a crash early Thursday morning on the Southside.

According to reports by the Florida Highway Patrol, 28-year-old Crystle Heidrick was driving a 2008 Chevy Impala northbound on Interstate 295, two miles east of Philips Highway, in the left emergency lane.

FHP said around 12:45 a.m., Heidrick entered the center median when the left emergency lane ended, turned to the right and over-corrected.

"That particular lane, if you do not follow the striping on the roadway, it enters you into an emergency lane and into a grassy median," said Sgt. Dylan Bryan.

The car crossed the northbound lanes and entered the right grass shoulder, striking a large tree. The crash happened on I-295 northbound at 9B.

Heidrick's daughter, 5-year-old Kelsey Johnson, died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Heidrick was transported to UF Health Jacksonville with serious injuries. Both Johnson and Heidrick are from Middleburg.

According to an FHP report, both were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Troopers said Heidrick took her daughter out of the back seat of the car after the crash and was spotted in the road flagging down a responding trooper with her daughter in her arms.

The trooper tried to perform CPR, but was unsuccessful.

FHP is investigating whether speed and alcohol may have been a factor in the wreck, and charges are pending against Heidrick.

Troopers said she voluntarily submitted to a blood and alcohol test.

Heidrick is a student at the University of North Florida, according to her Facebook page.