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Saturday, August 6, 2022

Friends, family mourn tragic death of Ocala teenager to head-on collision

Friends and family are mourning the tragic death of 17-year-old Ocala resident Julia Hersam, who was killed in a head-on collision on SR 40. 

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, on Friday, July 16, Hersam’s vehicle was traveling westbound  on State Road 40 in the Ocala National Forest when she was struck by a vehicle that was trying to pass on a double yellow line.

Double yellow lines indicate a no pass zone.

Hersam was killed by the collision and the driver attempting to pass died on Tuesday morning from injuries sustained in the crash. 

Two passengers, one of which was identified as Hersam’s 2-year-old nephew, were transported to local hospitals after the accident. 

Hersam was driving home after a day at the beach with her friend and nephew, according to a GoFundMe page established for the family. 

Family and friends have taken to social media to mourn the loss of Hersam, 

“Julia was a sweet and kind-hearted girl, loved by all who came in contact with her. She had just graduated high school and planned to go to Culinary Arts school to be a chef,” reads a post from Rachel Butter, Hersam’s aunt. 

“She was loved by all who knew her,” reads a post from Melinda Smith, another one of Hersam’s aunts. 

“She was my best friend, I always tried to look out for her, but really it was her that took care of me. Julia had the best personality, she was taken from us too soon,” reads a post from Hersam’s sister, Courtnie. 

To contribute to the GoFundMe page established on behalf of the family, visit the Hersam Family Fund in Memory of Julia Hersam.