JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The father of a 26-year-old woman, who was hit and killed while walking on I-10 near McDuff Avenue, said his daughter was the family’s rock.
The family told News4JAX that she was hit by two cars on the highway shortly after celebrating her birthday. They identified the woman as A’Ryshanae McTear.
Troopers said both drivers stayed at the scene. The family said it’s unclear why McTear was walking along the interstate by herself.
McTear and two of her friends had traveled from Georgia to Jacksonville to go out for her 26th birthday, which they celebrated in downtown Jacksonville.
McTear’s father, Latrell Wallace, said his daughter had a lot to celebrate. She had just graduated college with honors, and was starting her career in the medical field.
“I wanted to see my baby in her uniform with her name(tag) saying she works for doctor so-and-so, and I wanted to see her grow up one day to become a mother and a wife,” Wallace said.
The father shared the last text message he received from his daughter.
“12:38 a.m., I text my daughter, ‘Happy birthday. I’m so proud of you. I love you.’ She texts me back, ‘Thank you. I love you too,’” Wallace said. “That’s the last message I have in my phone. That’s the last message I ever get.”
Troopers said that McTear was walking within the outside travel lane on I-10 when she was hit. It happened just before 3 a.m. Saturday.
“We just want answers in order to have an understanding of what could have led up to this,” said her sister, Jordan.
McTear’s family said they haven’t been able to get in contact with the two friends she went out with. They don’t understand why she was left on the side of the interstate — alone.
“Ranae was our rock. And they took that rock from us,” Wallace said. “They left it on I-10. Unattended.”
Wallace said June 24th, for the family, will never be on the calendar again. He had a message for the drivers that stopped and tried to help.
“I thank them because they stayed there with my baby,” he said. “They called 911.”