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Parents, 4-year-old son killed in wrong-way crash near Gainesville

A fourth person killed in the crash was the wrong-way driver.
Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Tampa Bay Times]
Check for the latest breaking news and updates. [Tampa Bay Times]
Published Nov. 18
Updated Nov. 19

A couple and their 4-year-old son were killed in a wrong-way crash near Gainesville Saturday night. The couple’s 6-month-old daughter survived the crash, according to authorities and media reports.

The crash occurred about 11:40 p.m. Saturday as a 2019 Hyundai Elantra was going west in the eastbound lanes of State Road 24. The vehicle struck head on a 2007 Toyota Rav 4 that was going east on State Road 24. The Elantra caught fire and the driver, who has yet to be identified, was killed, Florida Highway Patrol troopers reported.

Also killed were the driver of the Rav 4, Christopher M. Hesling, 30, and a passenger, Brittany Trowell Hesling, 31. A 4-year-old boy, Jack Hesling, was taken to UF Health Shands Hospital, where he died Sunday evening, troopers said.

A second child in the Rav 4, Maggie Hesling, was also taken to Shands with minor injuries, troopers said. The Gainesville Sun reports that she is six months old.

Troopers said the people in the Rav 4 are from St. Marys, Ga.

A story from News4 in Jacksonville says the adults killed in the Rav 4 are husband and wife and the children are theirs. Christopher and Brittany Hesling were high school sweethearts and were their high school’s prom king and queen, the report says.

A GoFundMe campaign -- titled In Memory of Chris, Brittany, & Jack Hesling -- has been started.


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