CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A heartbroken family is opening up to News4Jax about the loss of their father and grandfather.
Douglas Soto, 51, of Orange Park was killed in a crash Tuesday night after colliding with a car, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said at about 5:44 p.m., the driver of a car was traveling on Knight Boxx Road in the left turn lane onto Blanding Boulevard. The motorcyclist was traveling in the other direction along Oak Lane, which becomes Knight Boxx.
According to FHP, both drivers had a green light, however, the driver of the car did not have a green arrow. The driver of the car made a left turn in front of Soto, and he collided with the front of the car.
Soto was taken to a hospital for treatment and died from his injuries, troopers said. No one in the car was injured.
Soto’s daughter Brittany said her dad was hit minutes away from the new home he just bought last week for his family. Brittany Soto said that night her dad was helping move things from their old house into their new one on Old Jennings Road. Douglas Soto had just purchased it days before to live in with his daughter, son and granddaughter.
“He was always the sole provider. He was the rock,” Brittany Soto said. “He was the one that was always there, so he found this place and he didn’t know how we were gonna pay for everything. But, within a week, he came up with all the money.”
The 51 year old had been riding motorcycles his whole life and even passed on his passion to his family.
“I’ve been riding bikes since before I could walk,” Brittany said.
However, Brittany said her father was ready to give it all up if it meant a better life for his family. She posted an ad on Facebook a week before the crash that her father was looking to sell his Honda to help move his family into their new home.
“He was gonna sell the bike just to get this place, to have the money to get this place for us,” Brittany tearfully told News4Jax.
According to the FHP report, Soto was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Brittany tells News4Jax this is incorrect and that they still have her dad's helmet at Orange Park hospital.
The family has started a fundraiser to help with expenses and is still making funeral arrangements. Brittany said they are organizing a public “celebration of life” for her father.
She does not know the time or place yet but is asking the local biker community to come. She said her father loved muscle cars and is also encouraging any car lovers to attend the service.