Hilton Head hit-and-run victim described as warm, friendly

mmcnab@beaufortgazette.comNovember 4, 2013 

Jenny Mercer's neighbors say she was friendly and helpful, and she loved her two Maine coon cats.

Mercer, 34, was struck and killed by a car in a hit-and-run accident as she walked along South Forest Beach Drive at 3:09 a.m. Sunday, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Mercer had lived with her mother, Diana, for the past 10 months after spending several years in California, Mercer's neighbor Holly Ter Haar said. Ter Haar said Mercer moved back home to live with her mother because Mercer had health problems.

Ter Haar said she met Mercer more than 15 years ago when she and her husband moved to Wildwood Lane in Sea Pines. After Ter Haar's husband, David, died in February, Mercer helped Ter Haar with tasks around her house, she said.

"She was adorable," Ter Haar said. "She was super sweet and always helping other people. She was an awesome girl, and it's a real shame what happened."

Ter Haar said Mercer was close to her family and her two cats. When one of the cats went missing a few months ago, Mercercanvassed the neighborhood and posted fliers. The cat returned less than a week later, Ter Haar said.

Another neighbor, Melissa Roberts, said Mercer was "always smiling."

"She was a really nice girl," Roberts said. "It's shocking what happened. It's very sad."

Roberts said she traded text messages with Mercer a week before her death about Mercer's desire to move into her own home.

Ter Haar said Mercer's health problems made it difficult for her to work, although she recently tried to work at the Truffles Cafe in Sea Pines. A manager at the restaurant said Mercer had completed two days of training a month before her death but did not work there afterward.

No new information about the accident that led to Mercer's death was released Monday. Highway Patrol investigators sought to determine the type of car that struck Mercer, according to a patrol report Sunday.

Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.

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