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Victim calls for sidewalks on Palm Valley Road

Woman nearly killed in hit-and-run is raising funds for sidewalks on road

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – A Nocatee woman nearly killed after she was hit while walking her bike down Palm Valley Road just outside The Players Club last year says more needs to be done to make the road safer.

Julie Anderson broke her neck and fractured her rib cage in several places. Doctors said she's fortunate to be alive. And even though she's doing really well, she said she can't move on until the road has sidewalks and a crosswalk. She said she doesn't want to see anyone else hurt like she was.

Along A1A there are several sidewalks that are pretty far away from the road. Anderson and her husband said they normally would take that road when riding their bikes, but it was getting dark the night of the accident, and they wanted to get home a bit quicker to avoid riding their bikes in the dark.

Julie Anderson was nearly killed when she was hit while walking her bike along Palm Valley Road.
Julie Anderson was nearly killed when she was hit while walking her bike along Palm Valley Road.

Palm Valley Road is narrow and most drivers aren't scared to test the speed limit. That has Julie Anderson (pictured) and her husband, Brian, scared.

"I just don't want anyone to go through the same thing I went through," Julie said. "It would be devastating for anyone to lose a child on this road. That's, as a mother, what I think of."

The Andersons were walking their bikes down Palm Valley Road about a year ago when Julie was hit by a van so hard her neck broke. The driver who hit her has not been found.

"I just couldn't believe it," Brian said. "I screamed and just begged that she was alive."

"I have a very strong Christian belief, so my memory was my dad, who is deceased, holding my hand, and then I remember waking up in the hospital a couple weeks later," Julie said.

Brian said he quickly rushed to help Julie, moving her head a certain way so she could breathe. He said a doctor from the Mayo Clinic was driving by and stopped to help.

The Andersons said they'd like to see a sidewalk put in along the area of Palm Valley Road where she was hit. Right now, there is a portion of sidewalk to the north and south of where Julie was hit. But they are on opposite sides of the road. The Andersons would like to see them connected but said the county won't do it, so now they hope the community will come together and raise the money.

They are part of a group called the Palm Valley Community Association and they are looking for donations to fund the sidewalk project. Donations can be made online at http://www.gofundme.com/pxoayw or mailed to Palm Valley Community Association, 148 Canal Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, 32082. Donors should write "sidewalks" in the check memo field.

The Andersons said there are a lot of new developments going in around the area, and they are afraid that will equal more traffic, which opens the possibility of more accidents.