‘A beautiful soul:’ Good Samaritan killed helping Sanford crash victim was mother of 4 known for giving back

Jenica Campbell was attempting to help hit-and-run victim when suspect returned, striking her, police say

SANFORD, Fla. – The Sanford community is mourning the loss of a woman described as “a pillar of her community” who was hit and killed Monday attempting to help a crash victim.

Sanford police said Jenica Campbell was fatally struck Monday on State Road 46 near Summerlin Avenue by the same driver who hit and killed motorcyclist Vincent Russo just moments before the second fatal crash. The 37-year-old suspect has been arrested and is in custody.

Campbell is survived by her husband and four daughters, ages 17, 14, 12 and 10.

Sanford police Chief Cecil Smith said Campbell was well known in the community.

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“The young lady attends one of our churches here in town has been a pillar of the society — has assisted us in our organization as a partner with getting into the community and giving back to the community — and it is really sad to see that someone who stopped to help someone lost their lives,” Smith said.

A GoFundMe online fundraiser has been started to help Campbell’s family through this difficult time.

“There isn’t much I can say in this moment other than she was a beautiful soul who exuded light and the Love of God to everyone she met,” Campbell’s husband Cory Campbell wrote in a post on the fundraiser. “We are processing this loss and trying to prepare to honor and remember her.”

Jenica, center, and Cory Campbell and their four daughters ages 17, 14, 12 and 10. (WKMG 2021)

In an update Tuesday, Sanford police public information officer Bianca Gillett applauded Campbell for her selfless act, trying to do the right thing.

“She saw somebody that was in desperate need of help, and she stopped and help them,” Gillett said, adding she was “a pillar of her community.”

Both Campbell and Russo were off to the side of the road when they were struck by the suspect’s Jaguar, according to Gillett.

“The acts that she did yesterday is just indicative of the many acts that she probably would have done on a daily basis,” Gillett said. “So this is a sad day for everyone, for her family, for the community, but also, it’s something that, for us as an agency as investigators, anybody in the community really should be angry that somebody’s actions so senselessly took these lives.”

Noel Brockway said she was a close friend of Campbell.

She said Campbell often put others before herself.

“It was like, of course, she pulled over to the side of the road to help somebody. I mean because that’s exactly who she was,” Brockway said. “She wouldn’t even have thought twice about that. Like, it would have just been an automatic thing for her. There is somebody in need, I’m going to go and help them.”

Brockway said that the community is working to support the family.

“Our goal really is just to rally around them. Make sure they know that we love them and are here for them as much and as long as they need us,” Brockway said. “We say this about a lot of people, but with her, it’s just she was sacrificing. Especially for her children and her husband.”