“We are asking for justice for their brother and my son,”: Pedestrian fatality case from 2020 names driver

"We are asking for justice for their brother and my son,": Pedestrian fatality court case from 2020 names driver
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 10:16 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The area of SW 20th Avenue in Gainesville is where 16-year-old DJ Washington was struck by a vehicle and then died from his injuries. Nearly two years later, his family is calling for justice.

“I’m still here and as long as I got breathe in my body— I’m going to fight until I have no more fight in me,” said Washington’s mother, Kiri Thomas. “He was never a problem child, he was excellent at basketball.”

She says there’s no justice following the death of her son in early 2020. A police report names 23-year-old Daniel Hubert as the driver who hit Washington.

“And like I said,” added Thomas. “I am highly highly highly upset and I have a right to be.” Washington’s grandmother, Rachel Washington-Jones added, “You have a right to be that’s right that’s your baby.”

RELATED STORY: A candle light vigil was held for 16-year-old DJ Washington of Gainesville

Court records show Hubert was charged with careless driving and ordered to community service, traffic school and a fine. Washington’s family wants a difference made community-wide starting on SW 20th Avenue similar to those made on University Avenue.

RELATED STORY: FDOT has finished improvements to University Avenue

“But what about your local kids? You got to think about your local children as well, not just protection of the college students,” said Washington-Jones. “And I feel like they make modifications for the UF students but those students they come and they go. Sometimes, they might stay here in the community and do work whatever but the local kids in the high school, middle school and you talking about the elementary school they here to stay most of them.”

To the family, Washington was respectable, humble and intelligent who loved basketball and his family. “Humble,” mentioned Washington-Jones. “Smart kid that most older people loved because how he carry himself—you would think DJ was in his 20′s.”

“Me and my kids are asking for, we are asking for justice for their brother and my son,” said Thomas.

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