Heartbroken loved ones identify woman killed by JTA bus

Vigil held for 50-year-old Jeanie Rozar; JTA terminates bus driver

MAYPORT, Fla. – The woman killed Saturday afternoon while getting off a Jacksonville Transportation Authority bus in Mayport has been identified by her friends and colleagues as 50-year-old Jeanie Rozar.  

News4Jax learned Monday that her family has retained an attorney and that the bus driver has been fired. 

A vigil was held at 8:30 p.m. Monday at the site of the accident, at Ocean Street near Pearl Street. Rozar's mother, Lana Long, told News4Jax that Rozar was a good mother and will be truly missed. She also said she wants justice.

"She used to ride the bus a lot -- never had a problem or issue or nothing," Long said. "I don't know what went wrong the other day, but something did."

Police said the woman died after being run over by the bus. According to witnesses, the woman was getting off the bus when her arm got stuck in the door and ended up entangled in the bus’ tire.  

A man, who said he held her in his arms as she died, told News4Jax it was the most horrific thing he has seen. He said his heart hurts for Rozar's daughter.

Tonya Lovvorn worked with Rozar as a shrimp header at Safe Harbor, just yards from where Rozar was killed.  

“She’s been working around here for about 2½-3 years, but I have known her ever since 2011," Lovvorn said.

Julia Welfare also worked with Rozar.

 “She was loud and awesome. She was going through a lot," Welfare said. "But she kept fighting. She was getting right. She was starting to believe. Her faith was getting up there. She was good.”

Lesley Curry, who lived next to Rozar, said she and her family were going through tough times and were recently homeless.

“We saw each other every day.  She will be missed.  She was a neighbor and she was a friend," Curry said.

Through it all, Curry said, Rozar tried to do the best for her young daughter. 

"I know she's an angel looking down on her baby girl," Curry said. 

Just before 5 p.m. Monday, a JTA spokesperson released a statement, saying that following an internal administrative review of Saturday's deadly accident, JTA had terminated the bus operator, Jean Silney,  for " violating JTA Operator Work Rules."

The statement continued: "T he JTA continues to cooperate with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office and are withholding further comment on the accident until those investigations conclude." 

About the Authors:

Zachery Lashway

An Emmy-nominated TV reporter and weekend anchor.

Corley Peel

Reports weeknights for The Ten O'Clock News and News4Jax at 11.