JSO: Man who struck and killed woman thought he hit mailbox

Update: A Jacksonville man was arrested in connection with a May crash that killed a 55-year-old woman on the Northside.

Brandon Fruscella, 22, was arrested for failing to leave information at the scene of a crash, according to a JSO arrest report.

Fruscella told Jacksonville Sheriff's Office investigators he was driving alone on New Berlin Road shortly before 10 p.m. on May 6 when he struck something he believed to be a mailbox. But JSO says he struck Paula H. Abdullah, who was discovered dead early the next morning. Fruscella never stopped or reported the crash to police, JSO says.

After seeing media reports about the crash, Fruscella called an attorney who then called JSO.

Fruscella was arrested Thursay and booked on a $10,000 bond.

Original Story:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A 55-year-old woman was hit by a pick-up truck before being abandoned for hours on the side of the road where she died.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said those were the circumstances surrounding the death of Paula H. Abdullah, the city's latest hit and run death.

Police announce Thursday they are looking for a black Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck, possibly a SR5 Sport model. The truck should have heavy right front end damage to the headlight area, according to JSO.

Sgt. Donald Washington with JSO's Traffic Homicide Unit told First Coast News it's believed the incident happened late Tuesday in the 1100 block of New Berlin Road.

"Homeowners reported hearing a loud thud sound. They looked out, but did not see anything. They attributed the sound to a large branch falling," he said.

A 911 call was not made until approximately 5:30 a.m. Wednesday when one of the homeowners was leaving for work.

Washington said, "They were leaving their driveway and they saw the body of an adult black female."

Washington said it appears the driver struck the victim from behind as she was walking on the side of the road.

"It looks like she was

possibly walking on the road's edge. I don't believe there is a sidewalk on that side of the road," he said

Washington added that it was most likely dark because of the time of day and heavy tree cover in the area. Evidence recovered from the scene suggests the suspect was driving an older, dark-colored vehicle that now has front-end damage, he said.

"That's sad. That's a long time to be out there," said Le'Trese Hall, who often walks in the same area as the deadly hit and run.

Hall said she has to dodge traffic to go on her walks with her family and friends. That's why she makes it a point to only go out during the daytime.

"There's no lights on this side. It's real dark at night," she said.

Anyone who has any information about this traffic crash is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500.

To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000 for this case, contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment