JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman who stopped to help after another driver struck and killed two horses on U.S. 301 was hit and killed after she got out of her car, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
According to the FHP report, a Toyota 4Runner was headed south on 301 in the Nassau County area when it hit two horses standing in the southbound lanes of the highway. The horses died from their injuries, troopers said.
Mellisa Nault, 38 of Callahan, was driving her Hyundai Genesis behind the 4Runner and saw the crash. She stopped to help, got out of her car and started to walk over to the other driver.
But at the same moment, a red Kia Forte that was also headed south on 301 hit one of the horses lying in the roadway, flipping the Kia, which hit Nault and her Hyundai. A 15-year-old girl was still inside the Hyundai when it was hit, survived.
According to Nault’s husband, Robert, the 15-year-old was their daughter. She tried to save her mother, but Nault died at the scene.
The couple recently celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary. The husband wrote in a message:
“While attempting to help others in need, she was ripped from this world and from our lives. I can only say, she died as she lived, with the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met. She healed my heart that I thought had faded. She was a loving mom to my son. She was an incredible example of womanhood for our loving and devoted daughter. She was a tenacious champion for the LGBTQ community, and she never met an animal she didn’t want to bring home and save from the big bad world. OK, well no snakes. I love you, and I can’t want to hold you in my arms again. Fly bumblebee fly.”
The 54-year-old driver of the Kia suffered minor injuries. The 70-year-old driver of the 4Runner and his 68-year-old passenger were not hurt in the collision with the horses.
The FHP said it’s unclear where the horses came from and who they belong to. Master Sgt. Dylan Bryan believes they somehow got off their land. He wasn’t sure how many horses got loose.
A fundraising account has been established online to help the family.