Pedestrian hit, killed on Southside Boulevard

E.J. Kemp remembered as young man who loved life

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 24-year-old man was hit and killed by a car early Tuesday morning while walking to work along Southside Boulevard, authorities said.

The accident happened around 2:40 a.m. on Southside Boulevard at Square Lake Boulevard, in front of the Home Depot near the Avenues Mall.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 50-year-old man was driving south on Southside Boulevard when his Toyota Camry hit Jonathan "E.J." Kemp, 24, of Carson, California. The driver immediately called police and attempted to render aid to Kemp. 

Kemp was transported to UF Health Jacksonville, where he died.

Kemp's sister told News4Jax that he was from California, but they moved to Jacksonville about a year ago.

Family, friends and co-workers said they are remembering Kemp as a young man who loved life and loved the Lord.

"Tragic and sad because we love him, and he was a good friend. (I) saw him at church on Sunday; said goodbye to him after. I didn't know that was the last time I would see him on this earth," said Pastor Dan Adams, of RiverTown Church. 

People who worked at a Southside Chick-fil-A restaurant with Kemp described him as having a big smile, and an even bigger heart. 

They would often see him sitting on nearby benches before work. 

"He would come probably like 30 minutes early and I was always wondering like, 'What is he doing out here?' And I just peeked out, and I was like, 'Oh my goodness, he's actually reading the Bible,'" said Ashanti Muley, a co-worker. 

Mulkey and his sister, Ambi Mulkey, said Kemp's love for God not only showed at work. 

Kemp volunteered on Wednesday nights with the youth group at RiverTown Church and volunteered with kids.

"He just had this personality that allowed him to impact and implement these kids. The kids absolutely adored him," Adams said. "He just had a vision. A great vision for giving his life away to kids."

Adams said even in the loss, the message of Kemp's life was that he gave much more to others.

It’s something his coworkers said they’ll always carry with them. 

"I would like everyone else on the team to take away -- it's just you know, see what we could do to help each other, what can we do to be there for each other, because I feel like that was what we got from him," said Ambi Mulkey.