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Downriver community remembers woman hit and killed by car in Southgate

Posted at 11:29 PM, Mar 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-14 23:29:05-04

SOUTHGATE, Mich (WXYZ)- — At the corner of Fort and Superior in Southgate, Shane Johnson returned to the scene where his fiance was killed just 24 hours earlier.

"She was a great woman inside and out," Johnson said. "She was my other half.”

He and his fiance, 35 year old Jessica Strother, were crossing Fort Street Saturday night when a car flying by, didn’t stop.

“It was the matter of a second, it happened so quick," Johnson said. "I tried to reach, I couldn't get her in time. She got hit. She flew.”

First responders tried desperately to save his soon to be wife, and also his soon to be daughter. Jessica was nearly 6 months pregnant.

“I wish I could have done something, talked to her before we walked, gone somewhere else, took a different way,” Johnson said.

Johnson says Jessica was rushed to the hospital, but an emergency c-section was unsuccessful. Jessica also leaves behind a 17 year old daughter who is a cheerleader at Flat Rock High School. Her teammates came by the vigil in support.

“I was just talking to her mom yesterday at the cheer competition and it was just... blew my mind I heard she was gone,” said teammate Hannah Zalewski. "We just want to support her and be in the spirit of her mom.”

The cheer team, along with a number of family and friends laid flowers near the corner where Jessica was killed, and gathered with candles in hand to show their love.

“She was well loved by a lot of people and it makes me happy that all these people are out here for her,” Johnson said.

It’s that love felt for Jessica that is helping Johnson and Jessica's family deal with this tragedy. In memory of Jessica, they hope that love spreads to others driving by.

“Just love the people you love, don't hate," Johnson said. "Because they’re there then they’re gone. It’s in the blink of an eye.”

Southgate police said on Saturday shortly after the crash that the accident was a hit and run. On Sunday, Johnson said the driver had turned themselves in.