77ºF

Restaurant owner's donation helps pay for funeral of teen killed in crash

Hilliard community provides support for family of 15-year-old Devin Williams

HILLIARD, Fla. – The tight-knit community in Hilliard has come together to help a family mourning the loss of a teenage boy killed in a crash last week.

Devin Williams, 15, died when he was thrown from the back of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that he was riding in after the driver lost control and struck a tree off Wedgewood Way, the Florida Highway Patrol said. 

Falisha Lee, Devin's mother, told News4Jax Tuesday that her family was trying to figure out how to pay for her son's sudden burial expenses on top of coping with his loss.

But Lee received some much welcome news Wednesday, telling News4Jax that someone had donated the remaining $3,000 needed to pay for her son's funeral.

"Praise God," Lee said after learning of the donation. 

That donor was Lillian Bouchard, a local restaurant owner. Her donation, along with others who gave to the family either directly or through a GoFundMe account, made the funeral possible.

"I hate to see that, you know? I mean, I know what it's like to struggle and need financial help and something like that is just terrible," Bouchard said. "She just wants to lay her baby to rest, you know? And she can put this behind her and get on with her life with her three children that need her more than ever now."

Bouchard, who owns Steamboat Lilly's restaurant, said she knew Devin through his mother. She said the teenager's death stunned her and the entire Hilliard community.

"It was like a nightmare. I couldn't believe it happened. I have a niece, nephew that lost their son at a very young age and it just brought back a lot of memories. It just seems so unfair, you know, someone so innocent and young," Bouchard said. 

News4Jax called Bouchard to request an interview her after learning of her donation. She was apprehensive and did not want to take credit for the donation. She agreed to speak with News4Jax on the phone, but did not wish to go on camera.