Jessica Joy Dees-Feuerstein was a newlywed who married her soulmate in April. They just started their lives together, but their love story was cut short by tragedy.
"It was a fairytale romance that came true for her and Dustin, and Dustin's life can never be the same now," said Terry Glover, Jessica's step-father.
Glover spoke with WPTV over the phone Thursday as he and his wife were traveling to see family in their home state of Ohio.
“She has a great soul and the world was a better place because of her,” said Glover, who added although she was petite, her personality was larger than life.
At only 30-years-old, Jessica had her whole life in front of her.
“We’re still in shock to where we still have a hard time accepting this, and where we have the strength to go ahead and move forward,” he said.
Jessica was out running around 4 a.m. Saturday when she was struck by a sport-utility vehicle. Police say the driver never stopped. It happened on 12th Street near 58th Avenue in Vero Beach.
Florida Highway Patrol says a front wheel fender was found at the scene and surveillance cameras captured a white 2013 Jeep Wrangler at the time of the crash. The SUV was found days later only about a mile away, and the 23-year-old driver was questioned. WPTV is not reporting his name at this time, because charges have not been filed yet.
“We understand that accidents happen, we could forgive him for that, but for leaving her there the way that he did that is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life,” Glover said.
Jessica was a former English teacher in St. Lucie County. She recently started a new job a few weeks ago as an English professor at South Florida State College.
The school released the following statement Thursday:
"The faculty, staff and students at South Florida State College are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our colleague and adjunct instructor, Jessica Dees-Feuerstein. Jessica joined our team as an adjunct faculty in English at the beginning of this academic year and impressed us with her knowledge and enthusiasm to teach and contribute to our students’ learning and success. Although Jessica was with us for a very short time, she made a strong and positive impact as a human being and educator. She will be missed." - Dr. MIchaela Tomova, Dean of Arts and Sciences
Jessica's family is still looking for answers and waiting for justice.
“We have to take one day at a time and comprehend what we have to do,” Glover said.
The crash is still under investigation.