19-year-old died when car left road, crashed into pond

Overnight accident on rural road in Northwest Jacksonville not reported until 7 a.m. Sunday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A grieving mother told News4Jax her 19-year-old son died when his car left a rural road near the Duval-Nassau County line very early Sunday morning, went through a fence and ended up in a pond.

Residents of the Jacksonville Ranch Club on Plummer Road, between Old Kings Road and U.S. 301, reported hearing a loud noise about midnight but didn’t think much of it. About 7 a.m. Sunday they noticed something had crashed through a fence along the road and notified police.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Dive Team was called and helped retrieve an older Honda from the water. Traffic homicide detectives said the car was traveling east on the rural two-lane road when it left the road and crashed. Police are continuing to investigate what caused Gallant to leave the road.

Police said the driver of the car was the only occupant but did not identify that person. On Monday, the victim’s mother identified him as Nathan Gallant, who graduated from Lighthouse Christian Academy’s Callahan campus in 2018 and was working at UPS.

“Nathan was a bright light in all our lives and was a kind soul who was always there for everyone,” his older sister posted on a GoFundMe appeal she created to help with funeral expenses. “We’re really wanting to give back to him and give him the sending off he truly deserves.”

Loved ones say he loved to hunt, go to the beach and work out at the gym. But he is remembered most of all for putting others before himself.

Sandy Bell used to date Gallant and remained close.

“He had a heart of gold and didn’t like to see anybody down," Bell said. “Regardless if he knew you or didn’t know you, he would always try his best to make sure you know, 'Hey, everything’s OK.”

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