JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Four young girls were left without parents after a tragic crash, and to intensify this heartbreak, it’s the third time their grandparents lost a child to a car accident.
Florida Highway Patrol says Ashley Goetzinger, 29, and Jason Sanders, 31, were pronounced dead at the scene Thursday around 10:15 p.m. The two were thrown from the motorcycle in a collision with a white van on Cassat Avenue and Normandy Boulevard. An FHP report says the driver of the van is James Alligood, 50, and JFRD told First Coast News Thursday that alcohol may have been a factor.
Family members say the couple just moved back to Jacksonville two months ago after living with Goetzinger’s side of the family in Maryland for 12 years.
“They were a happy couple,” said Thomas Goetzinger, Ashley’s father. “Jason was a good young man, a very good young man and they were a very loving couple.”
Goetzinger says he and his wife are heartbroken not only because now their four granddaughters have no parents, but because this isn’t the first child lost in this way.
“We’re not supposed to bury our children, our children are supposed to bury us,” added Goetzinger.
In 2001 the couple lost their oldest son Bret at 17-years-old. Eight years later they lost another son, Matthew. Both were killed in car crashes.
“It’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of them,” said Goetzinger.
Goetzinger says his daughter was a loving mom and a sweet person. He says she and her husband loved their kids and loved each other very much.
“They met, Jason was 16 and Ashley was 14, and I would have to say it was love at first sight because they’ve been together this long,” added Goetzinger.
Now the family is just focusing on the future of the four girls of ages 8, 9, 11, and 13. Family members have set up a Go Fund Me account online to help with funeral expenses and help with caring for the girls.
FHP is still investigating the crash. The agency is waiting on toxicology results.