Brittany Hare: Teen struck by van, killed in St. Lucie County

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - A family is in mourning after a van struck and killed their 14 year-old daughter just a few blocks from her home in St. Lucie County.

Brittany Hare, who had just finished the 8th grade, was walking down Palm Drive shortly before 10 pm Sunday when she was hit from behind by a van that was riding in the wrong lane.  

"You heard a little tire screeching, swerving.. then it sounded like a shotgun went off," said David Lewis, who was just five feet away from Hare as she walked down the street while talking on her phone.  The Indian River Estates neighborhood has no streetlights, and no sidewalks.

"He hit her so hard she flew from my house to 3 houses down," added Lewis. 

For most of Monday, investigators had the section of Palm Drive closed off so they could conduct measurements and try to determine how fast the van driver was going.

Among the markings in the road, you can see LS, where Brittany's left shoe was found.  Walk 20 feet down the road and you see RS, where he right shoe was.  Follow the neon dotted lines and you can see where the van finally came to a stop about 100 feet from the initial impact.

Hare had just finished the 8th grade.  No one came to the door at her home, but friends described her as someone who enjoyed life.

"She was a real sweet person, she was really crazy, she'd be like one of the guys," said Kristin Bedwell.

The posted speed limit in the Indian River Estates neighborhood is 25 miles per hour.  Residents say it is rarely obeyed.

"I've heard too many cars going by too fast too many times," said Wendy Chatterton as she stopped while riding her bicycle.

The investigation continues.  No charges have yet been filed against the driver 52 year-old Jesse McInerney.  He has a lengthy rap sheet ranging from DUI to battery and robbery.  Deputies have said McInerney was speeding but they have yet to determine how fast he was going.                

A Facebook page has been set up in Hare's memory. bitly link: http://on.fb.me/MhLfSv

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