1 year since teen killed by hit-and-run driver in St. Johns County
Anniversary comes after multiple hit-and-run deaths in northeast Florida
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Sunday will mark one year since 15-year-old Haley Smith was hit by a car on Kenton Morrison Road in St. Johns County. Haley was killed and the driver of the vehicle that hit her never stopped.
This somber anniversary comes the same week of two more hit-and-run crashes in our area. In addition, Florida Highway Patrol released a comment, asking for help in solving the October fatal hit-and-run of a motorcyclist in Clay County.
Jo-Lee Manning wears two "Justice for Haley" wristbands and the same message is on the back windshield of her car.
It's devastating for Manning and she referred to this as a horrible epidemic. Despite a change in the law this year for hit-and-run drivers, they are still happening. Haley Smith's mother said the days without her daughter have not gotten easier.
"She was so full of life and would do anything for anybody," she said. "That's one of the hardest things is that they could just leave her there. I'm very thankful that she had friends with her, that could call for help."
Haley's case is just one of many hit-and-run deaths in northeast Florida. This year, there have been eight cases in Duval County alone, including Michael Moon, who was killed riding his scooter on the city's west side early Monday morning.
Of the eight fatalities, seven of those occurred either late at night or in the early morning hours. Jeffrey Morrill was hit while riding his motorcycle during the day.
"We've had, the gentleman on the motorcycle, that was in broad daylight. It was caught on video. There's really just, no excuse. They're happening in the daytime and at night," said Manning.
This Sunday, a memorial for Haley will be held at St. Augustine Beach Pier. Even though it's been a year, Manning said she still believes there will be justice for her daughter.
"As her family and friends, we're not going to give up. We have hope, we will always have hope," said Manning. "If not for Haley's case, help find justice for the other families. And for the people involved, just be brave enough to do the right thing."
Copyright 2014 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.