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Family pleads for help to find hit-and-run driver

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Updated: 11/18/2013 12:23 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The family of a St. Johns County teen who was struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash is pleading for help to find the driver responsible.

Bill and Jo-lee Manning came back to the scene of the crash Sunday night clutching photos of their little girl.

Jo-lee Manning said her daughter loved to dance. In just a couple of weeks she would've turned 16.

"She was so full of life, always lit up the room when she walked in," said Jo-lee Manning.

According to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Smith and two of her friends had just left a nearby Publix and were walking along Kenton Morrison Road when a car struck Smith and never stopped.

Smith's friends were not injured but she was transported to UF Health Shands Jacksonville and died during surgery.

Less than two weeks ago, another hit-and-run claimed the life of bicyclist Randy Miller. He was struck and killed less than a mile away on State Road 16 near Four Mile Road.

Smith's stepdad said while nothing will bring his little girl back, he wants to see justice so they can at least have closure.

"It's hard for her, it's hard for me, it's hard for everybody in our family. I just wish that nobody in this town would ever have to go through what we're going through," said Bill Manning.

A fund has been set up at Community First Bank under "Haley Nicole Smith" to help with funeral arrangements.

Police believe the driver was in a gold-colored pickup truck. If you have any information that could help police make an arrest you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-TIPS.
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Realchange - 11/18/2013 2:19 PM
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She did not deserve this, but on the same hand I have seen pedestrians do crazy stuff. That is humans that are way worse than deer running out in front of a car or truck. Seen people say we need to slow down the traffic as well. I agree lets put every road in the nation at speed of 35 mph. I bet would be far fewer car crashes and life ending accidents. What ? No demand that we reduce the speed on all highways to 35 mph's? Why not ? it will save more lives than gun control.. So what if it take you 5 hours to get where you used to in 1 1/2 hour or so. The girl probably was in the right where she was walking, and was hit by a drunk driver. Keep in mind we have all seen kids and adults, with no common sense, on the roads and thinking someone is going get hurt. Sad fact if the driver was drunk he/she will probably kill again before they get caught.
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