Local mom hit by debris from nearby crash; driver takes off and smashes pumpkins

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local mom and daughter, walking across a median survived after being hit by flying debris from a nearby crash.

“We hear a crash, so we look up and I’m like 'Oh my gosh,' debris just flies our way, and I push my daughter like that and I ran, and the debris hit me, it hit me,” said Tiffani Harris.

A driver took video of Harris and her 18-year-old daughter at University and Beach boulevards, just seconds after the crash. Harris was on the ground, and the bumper was right next to her.

“I fell to the ground,” said Harris.

As Harris was waiting for help, the driver took off. Video showed her driving around a church pumpkin patch, smashing 20-30 pumpkins. Minutes later, an officer put the driver in the back of a patrol car.

The church, Spring Glen United Methodist, has been in the news before. Another car ran into it three years ago.

It’s a busy area with schools, a hospital, churches and stores nearby – which is why some drivers stay away from the area.

“I try to avoid this area, I try to stay on the interstate and avoid this area,” said Ashley Hale, a driver.

As for Harris, she said she knows flying debris can kill.

“I’m just happy to be alive, and my daughter -- we all safe,” she said.

And she learned something from all of this.

“I won’t do that again. I will definitely use the crosswalk,” said Harris.

Action News Jax contacted to JSO for the report to see what kinds of charges the driver could be facing. Check back for updates

In 2017, the city installed medians at that intersection to keep traffic flowing, stop backups and to try to make it safer.

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