CORAL SPRINGS (CBS4) – A Coral Springs neighborhood is mourning the loss of a longtime resident, Emil Angel, 69, after police say an unlicensed hit-and-run driver killed him.
The accident occurred around 11:40 am Monday as Angel was crossing University Drive and Ramblewood Drive, heading to Coral Square Mall.
Police say the 15-year-old driver was turning left on University Drive after heading westbound on Ramblewood Drive when he slammed into Angel.
Police say after the crash, the driver fled.
“He didn’t have a license anyway, he should not have been driving,” said Coral Springs Police Lt. Joe McHugh. “He had no valid driver’s license, only 15 years of age.”
Lt. McHugh said the impact of the crash was significant.
“It was absolutely a severe impact, hard enough where it actually caved-in the front windshield of the vehicle,” McHugh said. “(Angel) suffered severe injuries which ultimately took his life at North Broward Medical Center.”
A worker at a nearby business saw the crash happen.
“I heard a loud thump, like something hit a car or something,” said Chris Lewers. “I turned around and saw him land in the road.”
Fortunately, a Coral Springs Police Officer also witnessed the accident and rushed to help Angel. The officer also relayed crucial information about the hit-and-run driver heading into the mall.
A shopper, Danielle Bargman said she saw the teens — all 15 years of age — running.
“There were just three teenage boys running past, running through the parking lot into Macys,” said shopper Danielle Bargman. “Just running for their lives.”
Police put the mall on lock down and caught one of the teens inside the mall and the two others outside.
The news came as a shock to people who live near Angel just a few blocks from the crash site.
“Unbelievable, unbelievable,” said Angel’s longtime friend Lou Pizzingrillo.
Pizzingrillo said Angel stopped by each morning to chat and the friends shared stories from their time working for the New York Fire Department. Pizzingrillo said Angel also worked for the New York Police Department before retiring on disability years ago.
Pizzingrillo said Angel loved to walk around the area, like walking to a nearby gym.
“He told me he was going Christmas shopping,” Pizzingrillo said.
But Angel never made it on that errand.
All three teens were released. Police said they will likely charge the driver in the future but the passengers will likely not face charges.