JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A mother of two was out, celebrating her 40th birthday, over the weekend when she was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Northwest Jacksonville, according to family members.
Shekeida Sherman was crossing New Kings Road in front of the LaVilla Sportsman Club about 3:30 a.m. Sunday when police said she was fatally struck by a sedan that kept going.
“I can’t believe my daughter is gone a couple days after her birthday and it’s not right for my granddaughter to have to graduate without her mother," said Ruby Chavis, Shekeida Sherman’s mother. "She has a 4-year-old son. This is just devastating to me. I miss my daughter.”
Alexandria Sherman, Shekeida Sherman’s daughter who will graduate from high school this year, said she is heartbroken over the loss of her best friend.
“I would tell her everything. She told me everything. She was just very outgoing, like, the life of the party everywhere," Alexandria Sherman said. "She wanted me to step out of my shell and be more like her, and she was very caring about her family and really her kids and us just being successful in life.”
Sunday’s crash happened in a stretch of New Kings Road between Interstate 295 and Edgewood Avenue that has seen six deadly hit-and-runs involving pedestrians in four years.
Ben Frazier, director of community advocacy organization the Northside Coalition, called that stretch of road the “Danger Zone."
“It is a deadly stretch of highway,” Frazier said. “There have been some infrastructure improvements, which we’ve pushed for, but more must be done.”
The 4-mile stretch is heavily trafficked and badly lit, and Frazier said the area needs more police patrol enforcing the speed limit and highway crosswalks.
“It’s super sad and heartbreaking,” said Candice Kassab, the owner of the LaVilla Sportsman Club.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Shekeida Sherman was crossing over the four lanes of New Kings Road to head toward the LaVilla Sportsman Club. She almost made it to the parking lot but was hit right in front of it.
The LaVilla Sportsman Club is a popular weekend spot that gets busy, and people often have to park across the street and dodge traffic to get there. There are no crosswalks nor traffic lights near the club.
“We’ve been here for almost three years and we’ve just had a lot of issues with people crossing the road and whatnot. It’s happened about three or four times where someone gets hurt. It’s super sad and heartbreaking," Kassab said. "We’re just hoping that the city of Jacksonville or somebody can figure it out and help the situation that when people are walking so that they can avoid getting hit.”
As of Monday, investigators were still searching for whoever hit Shekeida Sherman. Loutricia Gibbs-Tolbert, Shekeida Sherman’s cousin, has a message for that person.
“Have a conscience, have a heart because, right now, our heart is broken. We want some kind of resolve, some kind of solace. Don’t allow your conscience to keep you in fear, release that fear so that we can release our heart and mend our hearts back together again,” Gibbs-Tolbert said.
The Sheriff’s Office said footage from the club’s security camera appeared to show a dark sedan hitting the woman. The Sheriff’s Office had not released any additional information about the vehicle or the driver as of Monday.
The club gave to police surveillance video that shows a dark sedan hitting Shekeida Sherman, but JSO has not released any additional driver or vehicle information.
In the meantime, the family will be holding a prayer vigil at 7 p.m. Monday in front of the club. Family members invited the public to celebrate Shekeida Sherman’s life, but they’re also begging any with information to come forward and call JSO at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers.
The family has also created a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.