NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. — A young mother, 26 –year-old Brittany Hoatlin, died in a hit and run crash in Nassau County.
The deadly crash occurred on on U.S. 1 in Callahan Sunday night around 8:30 p.m.
Hoatlin worked at Dr. Jerome Weitzen’s office in downtown Jacksonville, and this week, things just aren’t the same there.
Office Manager Julie Apromollo hired Hoatlin, “She loved working down here. She was here for seven years.”
Hoatlin of Glen Saint Mary was very close to the staff there.
“She was very outgoing, loved being around people. She loved BBQ’s and cookouts and being with friends and family,” Apromollo recalled.
Apromollo said Sunday night Hoatlin and her fiancé were driving back from a wedding.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, their car was in an accident and was sitting in the outside lane of U.S. 1. Troopers say Hoatlin was standing in the road accessing the damage when a tractor trailer came up, swerved to avoid the car, but hit Hoatlin, and she died.
Witnesses say they saw the tractor trailer eventually pull over several hundred feet down the road, he got out of the truck, looked back and then got back in the truck and drove off.
Apromollo said, “No one knows what was going on in the truck driver’s head, if he even knew he hit her.”
According to the FHP, the driver may not face charges and may not know he even hit anyone. It can be dark on the road and it is not lit.
However, troopers want to find him. They are now looking for an orange tractor with a white trailer that was traveling south on U.S. 1 Sunday night around 8:30 p.m. in Callahan just South of M. Sikes Road.
As for Hoatlin reportedly standing in the road, another co-worker, Lisa Whitehead, indicated that’s out of character for a woman who was so careful walking around downtown Jacksonville.
“She would stop me and Tracy (another co-worker) several times,” Whitehead said. “She’d say, ‘Where are you going? There’s a car coming.’ She was very cautious. She always paid attention to what traffic was.”
Hoatlin leaves behind two little daughters, a fiancé, and an office of co-workers who were like family.
Tears welled up in Apromollo’s eyes, “I loved her very much. She was part of my family and I’ll miss her very much. “