Pastor sounds alarm after parishioner leaving church hit by car

Pastor says speeding cars have been issue in area for a long time

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Pastor Ronald Williams is looking for solutions to an ongoing problem at New Bethel A.M.E. Church after a 71-year-old parishioner was hit by a speeding car Friday as she left the church.

"Both of her pelvic bones are busted and she's having a major problem with internal bleeding," Williams said of Essie Love.

Williams said Love was the first church member to be hit by a car but speeding drivers in the area are an issue the church has brought up before.

The church is located on Tyler Street between 2nd and 3rd streets. 

Williams said drivers speed through the area all the time. 

"There's an ongoing problem here, especially on Sundays -- Sunday morning, before and after service, these cars, they speed up and down Tyler Street all the time," Williams said. "And so that's a major concern for us. We need something. We need speed bumps, some flashing lights. We need something to let people know they need to slow down, especially when they see people trying to cross the street."

Williams has reached out to City Councilman Garrett Dennis, who represents the church's district, in hopes that the issue can be resolved soon. 


Love has been in the hospital since Friday. She will be having her second surgery Tuesday, and there's no set time on when or if she'll have a full recovery. 

"We just hope and pray that something is done quick, fast and in a hurry," Williams said. 

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