Driver in fatal road-rage crash charged with murder, reckless driving

Driver in fatal road-rage crash charged with murder, reckless driving
Driver in fatal road-rage crash charged with murder, reckless driving

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ana Jimenez, who troopers said was responsible for a violent road rage chase in April 2019 that resulted in the death of one person, injuries to three others and damage to five vehicles, was arrested Wednesday by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Jimenez, 23, is charged with second-degree murder, vehicular homicide and eight counts of reckless driving.

According to the arrest warrant, which was obtained by News4Jax on Tuesday, Jimenez went from the victim of a hit-and-run crash by a 60-year-old man to the aggressor in a road rage pursuit and crash.

The report said the man hit her car on Interstate 295, both exited at San Jose Boulevard in Mandarin and she followed him into the Target parking lot. Jimenez tried to block him in while calling 911, and the man sped away and got back onto I-295, heading for the Buckman Bridge at 100 mph to get away from her, according to the report. Multiple witnesses, one of whom took cellphone video, told FHP Jimenez repeatedly rammed the man’s SUV, forcing it into the retainer wall, the report shows. The report said both vehicles continued on, pushing against each other and smoking as they got off at Roosevelt Boulevard. FHP got more witness accounts and surveillance video as Jimenez chased the man up Roosevelt Boulevard, the report said. Jimenez struck the SUV one more time and the man lost control, went through the median and collided with several vehicles heading south, according to the report.

He was killed in the crash. Three other people were injured.

JSO dispatch told Jimenez 22 times to stop before the final crash, the arrest report said.

Driver in 2019 road rage case charged with murder and reckless driving
Driver in 2019 road rage case charged with murder and reckless driving

ORIGINAL STORY: Road-rage chase causes deadly crash on Roosevelt Boulevard

Jimenez was arrested in St. Johns County and was moved to the Duval County jail. She briefly appeared before a Duval County judge Friday morning and is being held without bond.

Her attorney told the judge he plans to ask for a bond hearing to make the state show it has probable cause to charge her with second-degree murder rather than vehicular homicide or some other charge that would be eligible for bond.

“I’m not sure what FHP’s allegations are because FHP made a statement -- a public statement -- shortly after the investigation stating that the victim’s vehicle was the primary aggressor,” attorney Scott Monroe told the judge. “I’ll likely be asking for a reduction or potentially challenging probable cause.”

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said this is why people need to let law enforcement handle serious accidents -- especially a hit-and-run.

“This is a classic example of how road rage gets out of control,” Jefferson said. “I don’t think she intended to kill anybody or seriously injure anybody. It’s just that road rage brings about all kinds of emotions and feelings.”

A spokesperson for FHP said it took longer than a year for Jimenez to be arrested because the completed FHP investigation required outside analysis in order to be finalized. Additionally, investigators spent weeks working with the State Attorney’s Office to bring formal charges.

Jefferson said if you are in a crash where the other car leaves the scene, call the police and don’t try to take matters into your own hands.

“If you see the person is about to leave, get a good description of the vehicle as much as possible -- the color of the vehicle even if you don’t know the make and model,” Jefferson said. “If you can get information on the driver, a description of the driver, give that information. If you get a tag number or even a partial tag number, that’s helpful to police as well.”

About the Authors: