SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) –  A driver who fled the scene of a deadly crash on the turnpike late Friday night is still not in custody.

On Sunday, the Florida Highway Patrol said they had recovered the car which started the chain reaction crash which claimed a life.

FHP spokesman Mark Wysocky said three vehicles were traveling northbound on the Turnpike Extension near Southwest 200 Street when one of the vehicles struck a Nissan Pathfinder while attempting to change lanes. The impact caused the Pathfinder, driven by Bryan Echevarria, 29, to spin out of control and end up facing southbound.

A tow truck, also traveling northbound, struck the Pathfinder head on. A passenger in the Pathfinder, 37-year old Elizabeth Sanchez, was pronounced dead at Kendall Regional Hospital. Echevarria was also transported to the hospital and is in critical condition. The driver of the tow truck, Ernesto Diaz, 20, was not injured.

“I’m very, very agitated,” said Sarah Lopez, Echevarria’s wife. “I’m very depressed with the situation. When we were gonna have such a wonderful time last night.”

Lopez said her husband and best friend ran out to buy a bottle of wine for the dinner they were all making. She knew something was wrong when they didn’t return right away.

Echevarria’s step-daughter, Karolyn Pena, said the crash took the life of a wonderful mother.

“I feel so bad it has me kind of speechless in a way cause I’m taken aback by this I can’t believe that this happened,” said Pena. “This is not fair. How are you gonna kill someone and just run away, how coward can you be? We need to find out who he is or who she is. This can’t happen, they didn’t deserve that.”

Pena said Sanchez was the mother of two teenagers, age 15 and 16.

“All I thought about was her kids,” said Pena. “I didn’t know what to say about her kids. I feel so bad for her daughter. He daughter is so she has such a beautiful heart and she needs a mom so bad. Her moms gone and I don’t know what to do.”

The driver believed to have caused the crash fled the scene. The Chrysler PT Cruiser, or car with similar body style, would have driver’s side front damage

Anyone with information about the accident or driver is urged to call FHP or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.


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