Father, son killed in Clay County crash

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Loved ones on Tuesday identified a father and son who were killed in a crash in Clay County.

David Hardie Jr., a senior at Clay High School, and David Hardie, his father, died in the crash. The Florida Highway Patrol said two others were injured in the crash Monday night.

A kind heart and a great sense of humor is how Steven Land remembers Hardie Jr.

“He was like a brother. He listened. He just sat there and made me laugh when I needed to,” Land said. “If I had the chance to, I would take that five minutes to tell him, I love you, man.”

David Hardie Jr.

Tuesday morning, Land woke up to learn the 19-year-old died in a crash on County Road 209.

“When I first heard of it, I wasn’t thinking straight. I was like, this is a cruel joke,” Land said. “As much as I wished I could stand in front of him and look at him and then maybe punch him one time really hard like brothers do and say don’t do that again and like, hug him kind of thing, I can’t. I would love to.”

Caitlyn Winder, a friend, agrees Hardie Jr. had the ability to make everyone laugh.

“He was absolutely the sweetest,” Winder said. “He could literally make you have the best day just by laughing. He was just so goofy.”

“He was just so friendly,” said Deanna Miolen, a friend. “So easy to talk to all the time.”

According to FHP, a 42-year-old woman who was driving the vehicle and a 14-year-old girl survived. Troopers said the driver lost control, hitting a tree and knocking over a large electrical pole.

The school district said Clay High School will have grief counselors available to students throughout the week.

A GoFundMe account has been created to raise money for funeral expenses.

About the Author:

Corley Peel is a Texas native and Texas Tech graduate who covered big stories in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida before returning to the Lone Star State. When not reporting, Corley enjoys hot yoga, Tech Football, and finding the best tacos in town.