PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — An 18-year-old man hit and killed a pedestrian Thursday night after fleeing a traffic stop, according to a preliminary arrest report.
- Jamar Johnson, 18, faces charges in fatal pedestrian crash
- Deputies: Johnson's vehicle crashed into Honda Accord
- After crash, his car spun and hit woman in crosswalk
Just before 9:30 p.m., a Pinellas County deputy tried to pull over a tan 2007 Nissan Maxima in the area of 44th Street North and Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park, because the deputy said that the vehicle was missing a tag light and had a window tint violation.
The driver of the Maxima, Jamar Johnson, 18, fled the traffic stop and sped eastbound on Park Boulevard before heading south on I-275.
The deputy alerted undercover officers, who watched the Maxima from a distance, according to the report.
Johnson continued speeding on I-275 and suddenly crossed three lanes of heavy traffic to exit onto the 5th Avenue North off-ramp, toward 20th Street North, the report said.
That's when officials said Johnson struck a 2013 Honda Accord that had entered the intersection of 5th and 20th on a green light.
The collision caused the Maxima to spin and hit 30-year-old Jee-Esta Shurock as she was crossing the intersection in a crosswalk.
At that point, officials said Johnson ran off, but was taken into custody a short time later.
Shurock was taken to a hospital, where she died.
"With an act like this it doesn’t matter where you are. And so she was walking, and her friend was a few feet in front of her," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
Gualtieri says Johnson is only 18 years old, but he has a lengthy background that dates back to before he was a teenager.
Johnson was taken to a hospital for treatment before being taken to the Pinellas County jail. He is facing charges of vehicular homicide, fleeing and eluding, leaving the scene of a crash with death, and property damage.
The driver of the Honda was not hurt.
Father of victim reacts
John Lawton, father of Jee-Esta Shurock, told us he never thought he would have to bury his own child.
Lawton says his daughter was with her boyfriend and they were just leaving the grocery store before she was hit and killed.
"I just don’t understand how something like this could happen with somebody who shouldn’t have been behind the wheel in the first place," he said.
Lawton says he's not angry, but he wants Johnson to know that he took away the life of a mother, daughter, and friend.
"I’m not angry. I just hope that he’s waking up fully understanding what he did because he destroyed a couple lives last night and nothing’s ever going to be the same," he said.
If you would like to help the Lawton family with Jee-Esta's burial, you can donate to their GoFundMe here.
The investigation remains ongoing.
This Gofundme.com site is not managed by Spectrum Bay News 9. For more information on how the site works and the rules visit www.gofundme.com/safety.