SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) – Miami-Dade police detectives are hoping someone has information about the vehicle or driver involved in a hit and run near Coral Gables Friday afternoon.
Investigators said Melita Jaric, 43, was walking across SW 11 Street west of LeJeune Road from her home to her car when she was struck.
The driver did not stop.
Jaric was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition, according to police.
“It’s so sad,” neighbor Julio Escobar said. “I have been living in this area for the last 18 years (and) never ever happened something like that.”
Police said Jaric is originally from Yugoslavia and is working on her Ph.D. at Florida International University.
She lives at a home in South Miami-Dade with her roommate who police said was devastated.
“She’s overwhelmed with so many emotions,” Det. Javier Baez said of the victim’s roommate.
Investigators believe the car that hit Jaric was likely traveling westbound along the residential street.
Neighbors said it’s become very dangerous over the years.
“This street has become like a race track,” Escobar said. “Everybody pass by here. Don’t respect the stop sign.”
“Race track would be an understatement to be honest with you,” Lee Feinberg said. “The 4-way stop is neglected. People think they own the street and they drive that way.”
Feinberg and Escobar were not home at the time of the accident, but cops are hoping someone saw something that might help them find the driver.
“The community is our eyes and ears,” Baez said. “We need the community to help us in all cases we report.”
As crews cleaned up the blood on the street, some wondered how anyone could have left Jaric woman behind.
“Even if I hit an animal, I would stop and look,” Feinberg said. “How can a human being do that to another human being and not care?
Sunday, Jaric was still in critical condition fighting for her life. Her younger sister, Natasa Jaric, told CBS4 her sister was in a deep coma and on life support.
“Most of the damage is to her head, so her skull was fractured and they removed half of it her brain swollen so they removed it i guess so the brain could breathe and not go into the area that’s infected,” Jaric said. “Her whole body is swollen and her left arm is fractured severely.”
Detectives do not have a description of the vehicle, but believe it might have front end damage.
“If this person did not see her, if her roommate from the house heard the bang, I am sure that this person not only heard the bang, but felt the bang,” Jaric said. “It’s brutal someone hits someone to the point of dying and doesn’t care, there have to be some repercussions for that.”