Oakleaf High student to undergo another surgery after deadly crash

Police confirm criminal investigation still underway into Sept. 16 accident

By Tera Lageman - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A criminal investigation is still underway into a deadly crash last month near Oakleaf High School, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office confirmed. 

Officers are now checking with businesses and homes in the area for any surveillance video that might show what happened on Sept. 16 when Keondre Moss, a 16-year-old student at Oakleaf High School, died and two other Oakleaf High students were hospitalized after police said the car they were in slammed into a tree in the median of Oakleaf Village Parkway -- about 2 miles away from their school.

On Tuesday, News4Jax spoke with Stephanie Elder. She is the mother of 18-year-old Tajuan Richey, who was one of the teenage boys injured in the crash. He broke both legs and one had to be amputated. 

"Yesterday, he saw his right leg for the first time and he had a terrible breakdown. It was very rough for him to see that. He cried for 10 minutes," Elder said. "The doctor said he will have to have a different surgery because the skin graft was not successful. It made me feel like ... It's just rough. I wasn't expecting a doctor to come and tell me that."

Elder said her son will likely be transferred to a hospital in Gainesville for the other surgery. In the meantime, Elder said, he is in a regular hospital room at Orange Park Medical Center and very alert.

Elder said her son has started to talk about the crash is starting to talk about the crash that left his best friend, Moss, dead.

Witnesses told police the car was speeding and possibly racing two others before losing control. 

Elder said her son insists they were not racing and he believes another car was involved, which could have been the reason why the vehicle crashed. She said she is now seeking legal help.

"I just met with an attorney just to get information and make sure that I am getting the best possible assistance," Elder said.

She added that she cannot thank the community enough for its love and support. As of Tuesday, a GoFundMe page had raised nearly $3,500 to help with his medical bills. But with the upcoming transfer to a new hospital and another surgery, according to Elder, there's a long way to go.

"Every bit helps and this is going to be a very long road for us and we need as much support as possible. He's going to be OK," Elder said. "I just have to think positive about everything because it's so much that I am dealing with -- with him emotionally and physically."

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