An Unexpected Death – Charlotte A. Wingate
My phone rang while I was drinking a beer with Steve. A strange 850 number flashed on the screen. I answered and the voice on the other end of the line told me they were with the Florida Highway Patrol. Before I could speculate on the reason for the call the officer stated my mother-in-law had been involved in a motor vehicle accident on I-10 in Baker County. In his words, she “expired at the scene.” I asked if that meant Charlotte was dead, and he replied in the affirmative. My insides twisted as I announced the news to Steve. He burst into tears.
I drove home to find two young FHP officers in front of my house. They relayed the contact information for the officer who was on the scene and gave their condolences. They were professional and had compassionate looks in their eyes. Becky rushed out of the house with tears streaming down her face. The scene was surreal. I had seen Charlotte this morning. Now she was gone.
As the news was aired on local Jacksonville news and Facebook our phones began to ring non-stop. People began making their way to our home to offer comfort to Becky. Church members and family members brought food and a steady shoulder. The kindness shown was heartwarming. Our family was numb and in shock.
Below is the article that appeared on a local Jacksonville television station:
Woman dies in Baker County crash
FHP: Charlotte Wingate’s SUV struck tree
SANDERSON, Fla. -
State troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol said a 55-year-old woman was killed when her car veered off Interstate 10 and crashed into a large tree in Baker County.
It happened around 1 p.m. Saturday in Sanderson near mile marker 318.
Troopers said Charlotte Wingate, of Moticello, died at the scene when her 2008 Toyota Rav4 hit the tree.
State troopers are still trying to find out what caused the crash. They said Wingate was not wearing a seat belt.
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