Mother begs driver who hit son, left him to die to come forward

FHP: 2009 Ford F-150 sought after Jacksonville man killed in hit-and-run

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Ashley Spicer - Reporter, anchor, Francine Frazier - Senior web producer, Colette DuChanois - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The mother of a 32-year-old man who was hit and killed this weekend on U.S. 90 in Jacksonville has a message for the driver who left her son to die.

“You took a life, and you don’t deserve to take a life and just leave,” Lori Childers said. “Whoever hit my son, I want you to come forward. It’s not your place to take someone’s life.”

Childers believes if the driver had stopped to help her son, Joshua Tomlinson might have survived. Instead, his injured body lay along the highway for more than day – alone.

Childers said she wants that driver who left her son for dead held accountable and asked anyone with information to come forward.

Troopers said Monday that they are searching for a 2009 Ford F-150 pickup with right front damage, including to the headlight, hood and windshield. The color of the pickup is unknown. 

Troopers believe Tomlinson was on the paved shoulder of U.S. 90/Beaver Street, just west of Jones Road, early Sunday morning in the Whitehouse area when he was fatally struck by the pickup, which was traveling westbound.

There is no sidewalk in the area and it appeared to be dimly lit.

Childers said her son was walking home. When she didn't hear from him Sunday, she went looking for him but didn't find him. She learned Monday night that he'd died after his body was found about 5 p.m.

“Josh had a heart of gold. I know people say things about people after they pass away, but he would give you anything,” Childers said, adding that she expects his funeral will be well-attended by the many people who loved him.

Anyone with information about the deadly hit-and-run is asked to call *FHP. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

Hard to solve

Troopers said hit-and-run cases are often difficult to solve because there is little physical evidence left at the scene.

Out of 50 hit-and-run cases in Jacksonville from 2014 to today, only 16 have been solved.

In the six hit-and-run cases News4Jax has covered this year, no arrests have been made.

The stretch of U.S. 90 where Tomlinson died is notoriously dangerous

A pedestrian was hit and killed just a mile away on June 9, and another pedestrian was run over along the same stretch of roadway in 2017. An arrest was made this year in the 2017 case.

Tomlinson’s family is hoping for the same justice.

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