Jacksonville man jailed following hit-and-run death of 3-year-old girl

A Jacksonville man, whose driver’s license was cancelled indefinitely, faces multiple charges following the hit-and-run death of a 3-year-old girl playing in the roadway on Johnson Avenue Friday night.

Eric Lynn Clayton, 53, of the 2300 block of Kinwood Avenue remained jailed without bail Saturday in the death of Taliyah Williams, who was struck by a car in the 2300 block of Johnson Avenue shortly after 7 p.m., according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Clayton is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, which is a felony. He also faces three misdemeanor charges: driving with a canceled and revoked driver’s license and two counts of failure to appear in court, jail records show.

His driver’s license was cancelled indefinitely in August 2011 and also is revoked, said Melissa Bujeda, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman. Police said he came to the police station and confessed to the hit and run.

Taliyah had been playing with a 2-year-old in a yard in the 2300 block of Johnson Avenue when she ran in to the roadway, where she was struck by a silver Mercury car. The driver stopped, picked up the bloody girl and placed her on the side of the roadway, according to police. He then got back in the car and drove off. Witnesses gave police a description of the driver, car and its license plate number.

Taliyah died at a nearby hospital.

Police later found the car abandoned in the 2300 block of Kinwood Avenue. Clayton then surrendered at Sheriff’s Office headquarters downtown, Bujeda said.

Bujeda said Clayton told police that he felt a bump while driving, stopped and moved the girl’s body out of the roadway, she said.

Clayton has a history of arrests dating back to 1984 in Duval County. Many of the 37 listed in Duval County court records were for traffic offenses including driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, or misdemeanors including domestic battery and drug possession. Clayton was sentenced to one year in prison in February 2000 for sale of cocaine, and was released in October that year, Florida Department of Corrections records showed.

Teresa Stepzinski: (904) 359-4075

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