Heartbroken widower says crash victim 'was just a beautiful person'

Rachel Claasen, 30, killed in crash on Cecil Commerce Center Parkway

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. - A Fernandina Beach newlywed who lost his wife in a crash two weeks ago told News4Jax on Tuesday that he's grateful for the support he has received and the outpouring of love from those who were touched by his wife's life.

“She just loved people so much, and I could never remember a time when she said anything bad about anybody,” Neil Claasen said. “She was just a beautiful person, and you could truly see God just living in her. ”

Rachel Claasen, 30, was killed on her way to work when her Honda Fit crossed over the double yellow line on Cecil Commerce Center Parkway near Normandy Boulevard and hit a dump truck head-on, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers are still not sure what caused her to crash, leaving the man she married two months before alone and heartbroken.

“She was just a big encouragement to me and kind of really forced me to think about things in a different way,” Claasen said. “Obviously, I’m just going to miss having somebody special to hold at night and kiss goodbye in the morning.”

He said he now wears Rachel's wedding ring around his neck.

“I’m wearing it close to my heart, so that I have her with me,” he said.

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