MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Almost a year after a deadly hit and run crash on the Don Shula Expressway claimed the life of a tow truck driver, a suspect has been arrested.
Gabard Macolson Guillot, 26, was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center Thursday after turning himself in to authorities.
According to an arrest affidavit, Guillot contacted investigators four days after the crash to tell them “he believes he killed someone on Killian Parkway”.
On May 4, 2013, David Chirinos, 43, was tending to a stranded motorist following a reported car fire on the side of the highway.
His tow truck was parked legally on the road’s shoulder, according to investigators.
Witnesses said a red-colored four-door BMW slammed into Chirinos, but the driver sped off.
A year later, the tow truck Chirinos was driving that night still sits parked in front of his Hialeah Gardens home.
“He enjoyed being in that truck,” his daughter Silvia Chirinos said. “He would always be inside it, for no reason. He’d be washing it.”
Silvia said she misses her father and sees a lot of him in herself.
“It’s been a very tough year,” Silvia told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana. “He died before my 21st birthday.”
After months of hoping for justice, Chirinos’ wife and daughter were in court to see Guillot go before a judge.
He is charged with leaving the scene of a traffic crash with death.
The judge set his bond at $10,000. If released, he will be on house arrest and he is forbidden from driving.
He will have to turn in his passport as a condition of his release.
The arrest report says Guillot contacted authorities 4 days after the crash to say he thought he’d killed someone.
He said he stopped at the scene but didn’t see anyone and didn’t notice the damage to his car until the following morning, the affidavit states.
The explanation is hard for Chirinos’ loved ones to accept.
“He needs to know that he took away the life of an excellent father,” Ledia Casco, Chirinos’ wife, said.
“I’m not the type of person to wish bad upon anyone. I don’t wish bad upon him. I just hope he can figure out a way to live the rest of his life with that behind him,” Silvia Chirinos said. “He’s going to be next to his father. He’s going to be with his family. I’m not. He took my life away.”
Silvia said her father had only been driving the truck for about a year when he was killed.
She said he’d dreamed of working in the towing industry, but she always worried about the safety issues that come with driving overnight on South Florida’s dangerous roads.
The family is not sure what it plans to do with his truck.