ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A 17-year-old skateboarder hit by a van just off U.S. 1 north of St. Augustine on Tuesday morning has died.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the accident happened at 7:19 a.m. on Las Calinas Boulevard, just north of the Palencia community. After Hunter Dudley, of Ponte Vedra, was struck, he was flown to UF Health Jacksonville with critical injuries. The FHP said he died hours later.
Investigators say, Hunter was riding his skateboard on the shoulder of the road when he apparently went into traffic.
The driver of the van stopped and performed CPR until St. Johns County Fire Rescue paramedics arrived. Hunter was flown by air ambulance to UF Health Jacksonville.
According to the FHP report, charges would be pending the outcome of the accident investigation.
Crashes like this are becoming an all-too-familiar story in St. Johns County.
"These are not accidents. These are almost completely avoidable incidents," Heather Neville, with Velofest Community Initiative, said.
Neville said she has lost several loved ones to auto-pedestrian crashes over the years.
Now, she works through her non-profit organization to make the roads safer here in St. Augustine and across the country.
"So many times, if somebody would just take a minute and relax while they’re driving, or even riding a bike, we wouldn’t hear about this as much," Neville said.
Tuesday morning, it was a teenager on a skateboard and the driver of a GMC van.
Neville says, it’s a sad reminder.
Her own friend was killed just last year, hit by a car while skateboarding.
"Just take a minute, look up, the sun is in your eyes, slow down," Neville said. "You will affect your own life if you hit somebody else."