- Alexandra Seltzer Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
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, both 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. Neither Kosolapenko or Vancor could be reached for comment Monday.
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 lip stick 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.”