Family seeks help for kids of crash victim

Investigators trying to determine why 28-year-old veered off road

By Heather Leigh - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Family and friends are trying to raise money to bury a Jacksonville mother of two who was killed in a car crash last Saturday.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jessica Depontes was driving on University Boulevard North at Commerce Street about 7 a.m. when her car cut across several lanes and hit a concrete pole.

Investigators are still trying to figure out why her car veered off in the first place.

Depontes also leaves behind a fiance.

Her friend Amy Dortch said life was good for Depontes, who worked late at Mavericks, oftentimes getting off work in the early morning hours.

"I think all the love coming from so many different people, I think those boys aren't going to go a day without knowing how much she was loved and how much she loved her boys," Dortch said.

Dortch said Depontes lived on the Westside, which is why friends find the entire situation odd. Friends of Depontes said the accident happened several hours after work in Arlington, and they can't explain why she was that far from home.

"It's so sad that somebody so good is not with us anymore," Dortch said. "Someone who was such a good mom, who took excellent care of her children, such a good sister, a good daughter to her parents, she's just gone and we're without her. It's just a shame."

Dortch said she's noticed people on social media sites making assumptions as to why Depontes lost control of the car -- things like alcohol or texting. Dortch denied those assumptions.

"Her last phone call was made at 2:30 that morning," she said. "There were not incoming texts or outgoing texts. There were no incoming calls or outgoing calls either. The last one was at 2:30 that morning. The phone was not charged from what we're understanding. She was not texting."

Dortch said the family is still waiting on the autopsy report to know for sure what went wrong. In the meantime, they're trying to figure out why she was in Arlington.

"Was she giving someone a ride home from work? We are just completely clueless," Dortch said.

She said Depontes loved her two sons, 2-year-old Laikon and 6-year-old Manny, and she was madly in love with her fiance, Aaron.

"Hold your loves ones 'cause you never know," Dortch said. "In a blink of an eye, they can be gone."

A viewing for Depontes will be held at Frazer Funeral Home, at 8168 Normandy Blvd., from 5-9 p.m. Friday. Her funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday.

If you'd like to help donate to help Depontes' children and to help pay for her funeral, click here or here. Dortch said the family is looking to raise more than $10,000.

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