WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A woman from New Jersey was killed when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver as she crossed a street on July 8.

A celebration of life service for Madison Gerhard, 23, of Colts Neck, takes place at Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury Tuesday from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. She was a member of the Colts Neck High School Class of 2018 and was part of a dual enrollment program at Brookdale Community College.

Madison Gerhard, 23, was struck crossing on 45th Street in West Palm Beach outside the crosswalk around 5 a.m., West Palm Beach police spokesman Mike Jachles said.

She died on impact after being thrown approximately 50 feet, landing on the pavement in front of a gas station, according to Jachles.

The driver, estimated to be traveling at approximately 55 mph, fled the scene.

Evidence collected at the scene determined the vehicle was a 1997 Chevrolet Astro, which was found parked at a home in the city’s north side in a fenced-in backyard. Jachles said the owner of the van, a 56-year-old man, admitted to driving the van and believed he hit "something significant."

The driver's identity has not been disclosed as no charges have been filed.

Madison Gerhard
Madison Gerhard (Dignity Memorial)

Life in Florida

Gerhard was a student at Florida State University and was preparing to take the State of Florida Real Estate Exam.

"Madison was kind, smart & beautiful. She adored animals and was blessed with a huge heart andgenerous spirit. We were privileged to have loved her," her obituary says.

Her mother told the Asbury Park Press that she was a soccer player while at Colts Neck High School and started water skiing when she moved to Florida.

Gerhard was the second dual program participant from Colts Neck to die in the past two months.

Lauren Hewski was a senior at St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel headed to lunch on May 11 with her parents after her commencement at Brookdale when the Jeep she was a passenger in hit a utility pole and overturned on Laird Road.

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