DAVIE (CBSMiami) — The family of an 86-year-old woman killed in a hit-and-run crash was one step closer to getting justice.
Citing Davie Police, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports a vehicle and driver that may be linked to the crash that killed Rita Chiero have been identified.READ MORE: Fort Lauderdale Police: 2 Stabbed, 1 In Custody
Police revealed on Monday that Chiero, who was traversing her gated senior living community using a walker, was fatally struck from behind.
The vehicle is at the Davie Police Department for processing and the driver – whose identity has not been released – is cooperating with investigators, police said.
Joseph Chiero, Jr., the 86-year-old’s son, said his mom was probably on her way to catch a minibus that would take her to the store.
His mom’s body was discovered on the road near her home inside the Everglades Lakes mobile park complex.
Family members said there were signs that the driver struck and dragged the elderly woman before fleeing.
“I was prepared to see her go maybe because of a heart attack down the road,” Chiero Jr. said Tuesday. “I was not prepared to see her be killed and be left like roadkill.”
According to police, the woman was walking east in the westbound lane of Southwest 33rd Street when she was hit. Her son speculates the driver had to have swerved across the road to hit her from behind.
A neighbor who heard the commotion came outside to see the woman lying in the street.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Police Marine Units To Conduct Boating Under The Influence Checks This Weekend
Police said the driver had to have known a person had been hit. Family members and neighbors placed fliers around the community, hoping someone would help police identify the driver.
“Someone has to come forward and say something. That could’ve been your mother,” said Joseph Chiero Jr.’s fiancee, Aurora Fotta.
According to family members, Chiero moved from New York to Florida about 45 years ago and had been a Broward resident ever since. She raised her only son and helped him raise her granddaughter, Angela, who is now 26.
In recent years, Chiero suffered from poor health, having survived a heart attack and a stroke that left her in a coma, her son said. But she continued to exercise with daily walks and kept her mind fresh watching game shows such as “Jeopardy!” and playing bingo at the community’s clubhouse, the family said.
Her granddaughter was the last relative to see her alive Monday as Chiero was put into a fire-rescue truck. She was taken to Broward Health Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Family members were outraged, saying it was frustrating to know that the driver was perhaps a resident of the small mobile home community.
“I don’t understand how you can’t see an old lady in a walker on the side of the road and hit her,” Chiero Jr. said Tuesday. “You had to be drunk or texting. Even if it was an accident, you don’t leave a person to die like that.”
In addition to her son and granddaughter, Chiero leaves two great-granddaughters. Funeral services are pending.
Anyone with information about the accident can call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or Davie Officer Ronnie Martin at 954-693-8200.MORE NEWS: 1 Dead, 1 Hospitalized As Van Ends Up In Pond In SW Miami-Dade
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.