Nurse Killed In Hit-And-Run

Jennifer Dee Hester, 26, of Jacksonville, was killed Saturday at 1:30 a.m.

Police say she was in the parking lot of her apartment complex, when she was hit by a car. Jennifer suffered blunt force trauma to her head and neck. It happened at Green Trails Apartments, located on East Loop 456 in South Jacksonville.

A recent nursing school graduate, soon to start working at Tyler's Mother Frances Hospital, Jennifer was a single mother of Mason Daniel Carroll, 2.

"She was a loving person, no doubt," Bo Hester, Jennifer's uncle, said. "She loved her family. She loved her friends. She was great."

How did Jennifer end up lying on the ground outside her apartment and who was driving the vehicle that hit her? That's what police are working to find out and what her family wants to know.

"Man, this just tears us up," Bo, who spoke on his brother's behalf, said.

Bo says he too knows what it's like to lose a daughter. Ten months ago, his daughter, Stephanie, 15, also died in a car accident, in Troup. Now he's remembering yet another young lady in the Hester family.

"She was very intelligent," Bo said. "She liked to dance. She liked to sing."

Jennifer was a member of the National Honor Society at Jacksonville High School. She high-kicked with the Cherokee Charmers Drill Team and graduated in 1997.

"She was a very sweet person," D'Anne Bellar, who taught Jennifer in yearbook class in 1996, said. "She was quiet and always did what you asked her to do. She got along well with all the other kids."

"She loved old people. She loved young people. Taking care of other people," Bo said.

Her uncle says that's why she became a nurse and nurtured her son in the same way.

"She had always talked about her son and funny little stories that he had done," Jamie Harrell, a fellow nursing student at TJC, said. "She was just really into her son and their life together."

The Hester family hopes little Mason will live out his mother's hopes and dreams.

Bo says she had been out at her cousin's birthday party the night she died. A friend dropped her off at her apartment, but she never made it inside. Police are still following leads to find out exactly what happened.

Funeral services for Jennifer have been set for Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Autry Funeral Home chapel in south Jacksonville.

Julie Tam, reporting.