MIAMI (CBS4) – A man police believe was involved in a fatal hit and run accident is under arrest thanks to good Samaritans who helped track him down.
CBS4 has learned that the man charged in this case has a history ofcharges for speeding, reckless driving and failing to stop for red lights. Records show he’s been cited 10 times for those traffic infractions in the past seven years.
Miami police said 49-year-old Nancy Gomez was crossing Southwest 8th Street just west of LeJune Road when she was hit by a gold Hyundai driven by 26-year old Robert Vivas. Gomez was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The woman’s family said she lived a motel about a block from where she was hit.
According to police, Vivas sped off after the accident and several witnesses followed him.
“They chased him, stopped him over by 44th Avenue, just a couple of blocks west, and they actually convinced the driver to come back,” said Miami police spokesman Sgt. Freddie Cruz.
“If it wasn’t because these persons took it upon themselves to go after the vehicle and stop it, the subject might have kept on driving,” said Miami police Sgt. Luis Taborda.
Jorge Gomez said he still trying to make sense of the way his mother died.
“You’re taking another persons life, another persons mother,” said Gomez. “Why flee the scene? Why? Just call the cops, call the ambulance to the spot, just don’t flee. Maybe if this would have happened to his mom, he would have been in my shoes. How would he have liked it if that was his mom?”
Gomez’s sister, Doris Almeyda, said someone who could leave a human being on the street to die has no heart.
“That’s my sister,” she said as tears flowed down her face. Everyone in the world loved her. He was animal.
He has no heart. He could have stayed and called the fire department and an ambulance could have saved her.”
The mother of three is being remembered as a loving and giving person who was dedicated to her children.
“She wouldn’t eat her plate of food, she’d just give it to us to eat,” said Gomez, “She was a good mom. She raised us one her own. Our real father left us.”
Along with heartbreak and anger, Gomez’s family said they also feel gratitude towards the good Samaritans who helped make sure Vivas was caught.
“They did the right thing to call an ambulance and don’t let that guy flee, i appreciate it,” said Gomez. “There are good people in this world.”
Vivas was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving a death. Police said alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
Records show Vivas has been arrested in the past for marijuana possession and petty theft.
He’s also had 10 infractions on his license between 2007 and 2014, but it had not been suspended. Records
show Vivas has been cited four times for speeding, twice for careless driving and four other times for violating or failing to stop at a red light.
Vivas is being held on $10,000 bond.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench stopped at Vivas’ home in Southwest Miami-Dade and knocked on the front door. No one responded.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said Vivas could be sentenced to up to 15 years behind bars if he’s convicted of leaving the scene of the crash with a death.