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17-year-old killed in Northside crash ‘had a heart of gold,’ father says

Malana Henderson was about to be a senior at Callahan High School

Malana Henderson is pictured with her father, Lucio Vazquez.
Malana Henderson is pictured with her father, Lucio Vazquez. (Lucio Vazquez)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The teenage girl killed in a crash Monday on Jacksonville’s Northside was about to be a senior at Callahan High School, her father told News4Jax.

Lucio Vazquez said his 17-year-old daughter, Malana Henderson, dreamed of going to the University of Georgia and wanted to become a doctor.

“She was very outgoing. She loved her siblings unconditionally,” Vazquez said. “She had a heart of gold really.”

Henderson was a passenger in a Honda Accord that the Florida Highway Patrol said collided with a semitruck about 3:30 p.m. Monday at Dunn Avenue and New Kings Road. Troopers said the car was traveling south on New Kings Road when it turned left onto Dunn Avenue in front of the tractor-trailer, which was traveling north on New Kings Road.

Troopers said a 16-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man -- all of whom were also passengers in the car -- had critical injuries. Troopers said the driver of the car, a 20-year-old man, had minor injuries.

Henderson died at the scene.

“I was hurt. My whole heart hurts,” Vazquez said. “I hope no parent ever has to go through this.”

According to troopers, the driver of the semitruck, a 47-year-old Georgia man, was not injured.


About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.