ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A St. Johns County man is heartbroken and confused that someone could leave his 81-year-old father to die on the side of the road after hitting him.
James Allen Sr. was walking along U.S. 1, near the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine, when troopers say he was stuck by a maroon Ford just after 1 a.m. Jan. 13, and the driver did not stop.
“The only thing I could think in my mind, somebody killed my daddy. Someone killed my daddy. And I feel somebody out there might know something. Might have seen something. I would like for this chapter to end. Somebody killed my daddy," said James Allen Jr., his son.
Allen Jr. spoke out Thursday in hopes of getting answers, saying his father should not have died the way he did.
The son said his father was a veteran and avid fisher, as well as a valued member of his church and the community. But he told News4Jax that Allen Sr. was having health problems and suffered from dementia.
"It’s sort of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One time he’s alright, and another time he’s a little bit off," Allen Jr. said. "I lived with him. I worked with him. He was an all-around good person.”
On Jan. 13, Allen Jr. checked on his father then left when he noticed he was fast asleep. But that night, Allen Jr. said he believes that because of his father's dementia, he walked several miles down State Road 16 before he even got to U.S.1, thinking he was heading to a job that he no longer worked at.
As he walked along the side of the road, a car veered off the road and hit him, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Shortly after, a Volkswagen also hit the man, but the driver of that vehicle remained on scene until investigators arrived, troopers said.
Allen Jr. said he's thankful that driver did the right thing.
"We’ve got to get a better handle on hit-and-runs," he said. "If it’s an accident, why not stop and aid the person if it's an accident? That's my concern. If it's an accident, stop, regardless of what happened, stop."
Allen Jr. said he hopes whoever hit his father first will find it in their heart to come forward and give Allen Sr. the respect he deserves.
Troopers found a Ford emblem at the scene of the accident, and were also able to determine that the car that hit him was maroon-colored, according to Allen Jr.
Anybody with information is asked to call the Highway Patrol at 904-301-3700.