Florida woman took car to body shop after deadly hit-and-run on freeway, police say

A 35-year-old Florida woman has been arrested in connection of a 2017 hit-and-run on I-95 that killed a young mother.

Sherri Ward of Middleburg is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash.

Jazmin Rodriguez, 25, was struck by a silver SUV at 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 14, 2017, after her black Kia became disabled on I-95 southbound near Old St. Augustine Road, authorities said.

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Rodriguez was struck while outside of her car and was able to tell first responders that she was hit by a silver SUV, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

The owner of a body shop was watching a news report about the crash that mentioned a silver SUV. The body shop owner believed that a car in his shop – a silver 2009 Honda Pilot – might be the vehicle involved, JSO said.

The body shop owner told police that the SUV was dropped off by Ward soon after the crash. Ward told him that she had hit a construction barrel, but the owner told JSO that the Honda had damage that was inconsistent with her story.

Black paint and markings – the same color as the car driven by Rodriguez – were found on the Honda Pilot, JSO said.

JSO said they obtained cellphone records that showed Ward was traveling southbound on I-95 near Old St. Augustine Road at the time of the crash. Ward told a friend that she had struck a guardrail, JSO said. 

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