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Deadly crash robs father of chance to reconnect with daughter

25-year-old woman killed in hit-and-run crash on Lane Avenue

Gabby Crutcher
Gabby Crutcher (Special to WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville police are trying to find whoever hit and killed a 25-year-old woman on Lane Avenue and then drove off on Saturday night.

The woman’s father identified her as Gabby Crutcher.

Charles Pendergrass said his daughter had cerebral palsy and walked slower. It’s unclear whether that contributed to the crash.

Charles Pendergrass looks through a photo album. (WJXT)

Charles Pendergrass said his relationship with his daughter became estranged when she was a child and Gabby was raised by his sister. In recent months, however, he said that they had started to reconnected and she was looking to live with him. But their plans were cut short around 9 p.m. Saturday when Gabby was struck by a vehicle on Lane Avenue. Police said the vehicle left the scene.

“It’s hitting hard. I’m not going to lie to you. Anybody who loses somebody, they know what I’m talking about," Charles Pendergrass said. “I’m trying to cope with it.”

He said it’s extremely difficult because the hit-and-run crashed robbed them from their chance to reconnect as father and daughter.

“And I don’t know how to do it. I don’t. I’m trying, but I don’t know how," Charles Pendergrass said.

Charles Pendergrass (WJXT)

News4Jax also spoke with multiple people in the area who believe traffic is too fast out there because there are so many pedestrians who cross that street. There is a stoplight at Lane Avenue and Londontowne Lane. News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said that only offers so much protection to walkers because there is a curve in the road near the light and impossible for some drivers to know they have to slow down.

“That traffic light, you’ve got to pay 100% attention as a driver for pedestrians trying to cross the street because it’s on a bend,” Jefferson said. “That traffic light is not the cure-all.”

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the incident was captured by nearby video, but JSO told News4Jax on Monday morning that investigators will ultimately determine whether video surveillance will be released to the public.

The Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information about the crash to call 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

According to News4Jax records, there have been six hit-and-run crashes this year in Duval County, and no arrests have been made.

About the Author:

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.