'She's watching over us,' says twin sister of woman hit, killed on US 1

Elaine Satkowski's family grieve her death while welcoming newborn into world

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist , News4Jax.com Staff

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - As a family welcomes a newborn baby girl into the world, family members are also grieving the loss of a St. Augustine woman who troopers said was hit and killed by a vehicle Tuesday night.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the crash happened about 10 p.m. on U.S. 1 at Ocean Boulevard near The Spot Cafe.

Elaine Satkowski, 58, was crossing U.S. 1 when a red Toyota Corolla fatally struck her, troopers said. 

The next day, as Satkowski's loved ones prepared to lay her to rest, her great-niece was born. 

"We had my oldest's birthday and she turned 40 on the 17th. Now, Elaine has passed and the grandbaby was born. So one angel up there and now an angel born here in our family," said Lorraine Labare, Satkowski's twin sister. "She's watching over us."

The newborn's middle name is Elaine, in memory of her great-aunt. Although the crash seems to be just a tragic accident, Satkowski's family is taking it hard.

Barely able to speak, her twin sister shared photos and memories with News4Jax on Wednesday of the woman who she said will always be in her heart.

"I'll always love you, Elaine. Always. Always," Labare said. "I'll carry you with me until the day I die."

At 58 years old, the twins lived together and spent a lot of time together until Tuesday night when Satkowski was killed.

"When the state troopers came, that was the worst. That was the worst," Labare said. "He (a state trooper) said, 'Are you identical or fraternal?' He said, 'I'm identical.' So a twin told a twin that a twin was gone."

The accident occurred about 8 miles from a different fatal crash, where two pedestrians were struck and killed on State Road 16 just off Interstate 95.

The Labares were watching the news when they learned someone had been hit by a car on U.S. 1. They said they knew it was Satkowski because she had just left their house to go to the store.

"We were listening to the two that were hit on 16 and they broke in and told about another one hit here on U.S. 1," said Paul Labare, Satkowski's brother-in-law. "When they said where it was, my wife immediately knew."

On Wednesday, the Labares were blessed with a new grandchild. Even in tough times, they said, they're thankful for the chance to love on Satkowski's namesake.

Troopers said the driver of the vehicle remained at the scene after the crash. Charges are pending the investigation.

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