Woman Killed While Getting Mail

The accident shut down Route 79 Wednesday night.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A 61-year-old Durham woman was killed as she crossed Route 79 in Durham to get mail on Wednesday evening.

    She was crossing the street around 6 p.m. when a Jeep struck her, according to police.

    Husband of Woman Struck and Killed Devastated

    [HAR] Husband of Woman Struck and Killed Devastated
    Ronald Gill Jr. says his wife, 61-year-old Wanda Jacques-Gill was hit by a car, as she checked the mail. (Published Thursday, Nov 15, 2012)

    Emergency crews performed CPR on Wanda Jacques-Gill at the scene, according to Valley Shore dispatchers. She was pronounced dead at Middlesex Hospital.

    Wanda Jacques-Gill, a wife, mother and grandmother, was the managing editor of Connecticut Medicine and was an employee of the Connecticut State Medical Society for 21 years, according to a statement from the medical society. 

    She was also a volunteer for the Durham Animal Rescue Team.

    Wanda's husband, Ronald Gill, is grief stricken and cannot believe his wife of more than 14 years is gone.

    "Everybody loved her. I already spoke with people on her job and they say the same. She was wonderful and she's going to be missed," he said.

    “Wanda was a dedicated employee, caring colleague and loving wife to her husband, Ron, and she will be missed by all of those she touched on a daily basis. Connecticut Medicine was her passion, and the journal has evolved and grown thanks to her tireless efforts,” CSMS Executive Vice President and CEO Matthew Katz said. “Wanda touched the careers and lives of thousands of physicians and physicians-in-training through her service. Medicine in Connecticut has lost a devoted professional and we have lost a dear friend.”

    Police said the driver, William Zanks, 39, remained at the scene of the crash and is cooperating with investigators. No charges have been filed.

    Skid marks are etched in the ground where the crash happened.

    "I went closer and somebody had shown up from the fire department and I saw her underneath the front of his Jeep," Ronald Gill said.

    The stretch of road is notorious for blind spots and speeding, he said.

    "People go too fast and because it's on the top of hill, we had a hay wagon get hit a couple of years ago," he said. "Someone on a motorcycle going too fast slammed into the hay wagon."

    Whether speed was a factor on Wednesday night is not known.

    Route 79, also known as Madison Road, was closed between Sand Hill Road and South End Avenue for several hours while police investigated, according to the Department of Transportation.

    Jacques-Gill lived at 181 Madison Road, according to a news release from police.

    Zanks lives in the same street.

    Durham First Selectwoman Laura Francis said Route 79 is a dark stretch of road and that people often cross the street to get their mail.  

    There is a row of mailboxes by the scene of the crash.

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