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Woman gives gift of life through organ donation

Family donating organs after tragic accident

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of the woman hit while trying to cross University Boulevard Friday night said 36-year-old Jacqualine Weinrich will be undergoing surgery to donate her organs.

Weinrich is currently on life support but the family did make the difficult decision to donate her organs. 

According to police, Weinrich was attempting to cross University Boulevard when the light changed.

Her husband said she stopped in the middle of the intersection to make sure no cars were coming but was hit shortly after.

"I looked at her, I looked away, so I know she stopped. I looked away and looked back at her, and I didn't see her. All I saw was her shoes on the ground," her husband, Robert Weinrich, said.

Weinrich said he ran over to her and saw her on the ground. He said he threw his body on top of hers so that she didn't get hit again as people began to stop traffic

Weinrich's family said the surgery is supposed to happen Monday, and they were waiting on some of the recipients to show up before they perform the surgery.

They said after that, they will be holding a funeral.

"It was devastating. I mean, I'm not going to have my sister anymore, and that's hard," Julie Owen, Weinrich's sister

Owen said her sister just graduated with a degree and was about to start the next chapter in her life until the accident happened.

"We're going to miss her, and it's very sad she's not going to be here, but she wouldn't want us to hold onto this.  So she's up there with our grandma," Owen said.

According to the crash report, Weinrich was crossing University Boulevard near Barnes Rd when she was hit by a car around 10 p.m.

JSO said she wasn't in the crosswalk, and the car that hit her had the right of way with a green light.

The driver of the car, Colby Marie Black, wasn't impaired at the time of the accident and, according to the report, just didn't see Weinrich.

News4Jax Crime and Safety Analyst, Gil Smith, walked the intersection and said that even though there is enough time to walk across the intersection safely, and even though pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks when the signal says go, pedestrians still need to make sure to stay safe.

"You still have to check and make sure that it's clear traffic wise. They're supposed to wait. If you're in the intersection at the crosswalk, they're supposed to wait. But sometimes they don't, they just go ahead and make the turn.

All they're thinking of is right on red. I have the right of way. But that doesn't apply when there's something in the intersection," Smith said.

It's been a long few days for Owen and her family, but they say with the organ donation, Weinrich is saving other people's lives.

The family said that the nurses at UF health that tended to Weinrich did a fantastic job. They took her heart monitor readings and folded them up and put them into a glass vial for her kids, saying it's her heart in a bottle. Something, her sister said, the kids will remember forever.

The family also said that the funeral arrangements are taken care of, but they are going to try and open a GoFundMe page to help with the medical costs.

News4Jax will update the story with that information when it becomes available.