Car recovered in Jax Beach hit-and-run

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Sources tell News4Jax that a black Mercedes believed to be involved in a hit-and-run crash early Saturday morning has been found. The car is being processed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Daniel Stein, 25 was killed when he was hit on North 13th Avenue and State Road A1A.

Sunday friends remembered Stein. Heather Anne Callaway fought back tears as she talked about her friend and former co-worker.

"Heartbreaking. Everybody here has just been crushed by it. It's unbelievable that this could happen to anyone,especially someone so close, someone you love so much," said Callaway.

Callaway is a manager at Tacolu, where Stein had worked in the kitchen. Even though he had left his job, his co-workers say he had a way of making any situation better and his presence is missed.

"Even in the front of the house, when he was out in the front of the house. Everybody was so close. It was such a tight little circle. So for Friday night to happen. You think, it's like a blink. Then everything changes for everybody," Don Nicol, owner of Tacolu.

Police are still investigating. Once the driver is identified, he or she will likely be prosecuted under the new hit-and-run law that went into effect just days ago. The law created a four-year minimum mandatory sentence for drivers who leave the scene of accidents involving death. It also requires the offender's driver's license revoked for three years.

Until an arrest is made, Stein's friends are honoring his memory. A Facebook post on the Tacolu page highlights the grief they are feeling. Callaway has a message for the driver: it's not too late to do the right thing.

"That person probably wants to sleep at night. They just need to come clean and do the right thing. Everybody makes mistakes, but they need to pay for what happened.," said Callaway.

A "paddle out" gathering was scheduled for Monday morning at 8th North. A memorial service for will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Hardage Giddens Funeral Home on Hendricks Avenue.

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.