HIALEAH (CBS4) — Friends and family held a candlelight vigil Thursday night for an 18-year-old Hialeah woman who was struck and killed by a car while walking on the Florida Turnpike.
Nohely Pichardo was remembered as a bubbly, beautiful young woman who had recently graduated from Miami Springs High School and had hoped to go to college to become a psychologist so she could help people.
“Feeling so sad, I can’t believe it,” said Nohely’s brother Robert Pichardo.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) said the young woman was hit and killed by a car at 4:56 a.m. while crossing the northbound lanes of the Turnpike just south of Griffin Road.
A friend told CBS4’s Gaby Fleischman that they had been drinking at a party before the accident. They said Nohely didn’t want to leave, but the girls she was out with made her. Once in the car, a fight broke out.
“We were just arguing with each other and then she wanted to get out of the car,” said Karen Delgado. “Me and my sister didn’t let her because we knew it would be a bad idea.”
Nohely managed to get out of the car.. Friends said she crossed the median and when they turned around to try and find her she was gone.
“I felt like I was gonna die,” said Delgado. “One of the worst feelings in the world.”
Leidy Padrino said she was the last person to speak to Nohely.
“She just called me and asked me to pick her up and I got in my car and went to go find her but I was driving up and down the highway and I couldn’t find her,” said Padrino. “I just try to keep reminding myself that for the past 18 years she was one of the happiest people I ever knew and that now she’s just guarding over us.”
Family said Nohely’s mother was not be able to attend the vigil because she was hospitalized after finding out about her daughter’s death. Pichardo’s father is in the Dominican Republic.
FHP said there was no evidence that the driver of the 2013 Audi A6 that struck Pichardo was drinking or speeding. FHP said the Audi driven by 47-year-old Kristofer Cooper was struck from behind by a Ford F150 and then hit a guard rail.
The accident shut down the northbound lanes of the Turnpike for three and half hours.
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