Kings Bay sailor killed by car in Bahrain

Published On: May 13 2013 10:20:31 AM EDT   Updated On: May 13 2013 08:41:48 PM EDT

A Jacksonville military wife torn from the man she loves. She's grieving after news of her husband's death.


A Navy sailor stationed at Kings Bay was struck and killed by a car last week while deployed in Bahrain.

An English-language newspaper in Bahrain reported that a car hit 23-year-old Petty Officer Third Class Johnny Oliver on Tuesday as he was crossing a road. The newspaper reports the Bahraini national faces charges of unintentional murder, crossing a red signal, exceeding the speed limit and reckless driving.

Oliver married University of North Florida student Jazmin Oliver in March just before he deployed. He promised the two could have a big wedding in December when he returned, where their families could attend.

"He came into my life very unexpectedly and just swept me off my feet," Jazmin said. "Nothing is going to be the same. I can't really remember my life before Johnny."

The family is now preparing for a funeral, although arrangements are incomplete. A memorial service is planned for Tuesday in Jacksonville.

WPSD-TV reported that friends at Oliver's boyhood home in Kentucky said they found out something was wrong through Facebook. Someone in Bahrain posted a message on Oliver's wall. It sent shock waves throughout the entire family -- even Oliver's adopted grandmother, Pat Burgess.

"I've always prayed that I would die before any of my kids, my son and daughter in laws," Burgess said. "I wanted to go first."

His wife, Jazmin, told her mother in-law that Johnny would often send gifts to her, but those gifts take days to arrive. During the last two days before his death, she's received flowers and a box of candy from her husband.

"I still can't fathom this," Jazmin said. "I don't -- to me, none of this is really happening. It doesn't really feel real to me."

Jazmin said her husband had sent her a text message just minutes before he died, telling her he loved her. She said letting her know she was special was something he did every day.

Jazmin now wears a bracelet in loving memory of Johnny, the man she called her "honeybee." She also wears a sailor symbol around her neck. She said she hopes others will hear her story and remember to keep their loved ones close.

"It could happen to them. It could happen to anybody," she said. "So maybe people will just not take that for granted."


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