Woman aid­ing driver struck, killed

Boyn­ton mother stops on I-95 to help stranded man, is hit by swerv­ing pickup.

The Palm Beach Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Alexan­dra Seltzer Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

BOYN­TON BEACH — Mar­ca­sia Cren­shaw stopped on In­ter­state 95 near Ti­tusville to help a stranded driver late Sun­day night be­cause a few months ago, some­one did the same for her.

But that act of kind­ness turned into tragedy when a man driv­ing a pickup swerved to avoid the dis­abled van parked in the in­side south­bound lane. Mar­ca­sia and her 25-year-old twin sis­ter, Mark­wonda Cren­shaw, tried to dodge the veer­ing truck.

But the driver hit Mar­ca­sia, killing her.

“I lost my twin sis­ter be­cause she was try­ing to help some­one out,” Mark­wonda said. “It hurts. Be­cause she was do­ing a good deed. She was try­ing to be a good Sa­mar­i­tan.”

The twins, from Boyn­ton Beach, were on their way home from visit­ing their mother in Jack­sonville. Mar­ca­sia drove while Mark­wonda sat in the pas­sen­ger seat. Mar­ca­sia’s 5-year-old boy and Mark­wonda’s 2-year-old girl were asleep in the back.

By about 10:30 p.m. they made it to the Ti­tusville area, mile marker 221, when they saw air bags de­ployed

and smoke com­ing from a stranded van and de­cided to pull over to help.

Yuri Koso­lapenko, 23, from Jack­sonville was in a 2017 Dodge Sprinter that had been dis­abled with dam­age from a pre­vi­ous crash, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the Florida High­way Pa­trol.

Dal­ton Van­cor, 23, of Alabama was driv­ing the pickup when he ap­proached the back of the Sprinter and “ag­gres­sively” braked. He swerved left to avoid hit­ting the van. Mar­ca­sia ran east to­ward the grass me­dian and was hit with the pickup’s right side.

Her twin ran to her. She’s cer­ti­fied in CPR. But she was al­ready gone.

As po­lice and paramedics were headed to the scene, Mark­wonda called her mom to de­liver the grim news.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the crash is on­go­ing.

Mar­ca­sia was a sin­gle mother of Joshua Curry, who at­tends Mar­itime Academy in Lan­tana. She was out­go­ing, funny, car­ing and loved hav­ing her makeup, nails and hair done. She pre­ferred dark brown or dark bur­gundy lip­stick and loved to sing gospel mu­sic, said her cousin, Lakessia Cren­shaw. She worked in re­cep­tion at WoodSpring Suites in Lake Worth.

“She has al­ways thought of oth­ers more than her­self,” said Ken­neth James, the lead guest ser­vices rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the ho­tel.

Mar­ca­sia trained him. He’s also a twin.

“It’s our na­ture to care more about oth­ers than our­selves,” he said.

On Thurs­day, Mar­ca­sia brought James grits, sausage and bis­cuits for break­fast. He told her to re­lax while visit­ing her mom and take a much-needed break from work. He found out about his friend’s death when Mar­ca­sia’s cousin came in to tell him dur­ing the overnight shift.

“When they told me she pulled over to help some­body, I thought ‘Yup, that’s her,’” James re­called. “It’s very dif­fi­cult be­cause she has be­come fam­ily to me. That’s like my sis­ter.”

Mark­wonda said while her sis­ter al­ways had a giv­ing per­son­al­ity, it was that time a few months ago when they were stranded on I-95 that prompted the two to help Sun­day.

In Au­gust, the twins were trav­el­ing to Jack­sonville when they got a flat tire. An off-duty po­lice of­fi­cer pulled over to help. Mark­wonda said the of­fi­cer “res­cued” them.

“He helped us,” Mark­wonda said. “So that made us feel like if he can do it, we can do it.”

Said Lakessia: “She is what you call a walk­ing an­gel. And God was ready for her to come back home.”

MARK­WONDA CREN­SHAW

Twin sis­ters Mark­wonda (left) and Mar­ca­sia Cren­shaw, of Boyn­ton Beach. Mar­ca­sia was struck and killed on I-95 Sun­day night.

Source: map­s4news.com/©HERE STAFF

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