Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Parking Error Led to Fatal Incident; Woman Says Boyfriend Was Just Looking for Car

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Parking Error Led to Fatal Incident; Woman Says Boyfriend Was Just Looking for Car

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim Schoettler

Taylor Evans and Alexandra Melendez unclasped hands and slipped apart as they scanned a parking lot for Melendez's car outside The Jacksonville Landing.

Moments later, Melendez stared in horror as a truck apparently being driven by a man fleeing an angry mob ran over Evans and sped off. Melendez collapsed as she went to her lifeless friend's side.

Melendez said last Friday's tragedy that killed Evans, 22, was compounded when she learned she'd left her car in a different spot.

"We were in the wrong parking lot," said Melendez, 20.

Shands Jacksonville hospital spokesman Dan Leveton said Friday that Evans died Tuesday. Jacksonville police confirmed Evan's identity and death Friday afternoon but gave no other details and said the investigation is ongoing.

Evans' family has not talked with reporters and wants their privacy, Melendez said.

Melendez said she was told by police that they have interviewed the truck driver but no charges have been filed. Police this week made a public plea for a woman battered by a man within two hours of the 2:15 a.m. hit-and-run to come forward. Police have not said if that occurred.

Melendez continues to grieve for Evans, whom she said she met about a year ago. She said the University Christian High School graduate, a landscaper who aspired to be a firefighter, had a 6-year-old child. She said Evans had an infectious smile and a golden heart.

"He was one of the most genuine and down-to-earth people I have ever known," Melendez said. "He will forever be our angel."

Evans, Melendez and several other friends went to Maverick's Thursday night, but Evans and Melendez became separated from the others as a large crowd left the closed bar. She said she and Evans were walking hand-in-hand toward the parking lot when several fights and shouting matches broke out around them. …

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