MIRAMAR (CBSMiami) — Members of the Miramar community gathered Sunday afternoon to pay their respects to a Miramar woman who was struck and killed by a tractor trailer while she was using her electric wheelchair.
Diana Rosa Gonzalez, 49, was hit and killed around 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night as the driver of the tractor trailer was making a turn to go southbound on University Drive near Miramar Parkway.READ MORE: BSO Deputy Shoots, Kills Knife-Wielding Man Outside North Lauderdale Strip Mall
Miramar Police spokeswoman Tania Rues told CBS4, “It appears the driver of the tractor trailer was unaware that he hit her and he dragged her quite a bit of distance.”
Rues said a motorist flagged down the driver of the tractor trailer after noticing sparks from accident-related debris flying from his truck.
“That driver was apparently very distraught,” said Rues.
The driver is not being identified. No charges have been filed .While it appears that the incident was an accident, Rues said this case is still an open investigation.
Friends and neighbors said Gonzalez was a fixture on University Drive. She was often seen riding her electric wheelchair from her apartment at Pines Place near Pembroke Road up and down University Drive to see friends and stop. Living with cerebral palsy, Gonzalez tried to lead as normal a life as possible. A life filled with positivity and free of pity.
“She did touch a lot of hearts. There’s a lot of people that love her,” said her brother Fernando Gonzalez.”Very strong willed sister, very tough but very fair. She never felt sorry for who she was.”READ MORE: Lawyers For Ex Florida State Senator Frank Artiles Enter Not Guilty Plea, Ask For Jury Trial
“It’s devastating. It’s killing me. It’s killing. She was a sweetheart to everybody,” said the victim’s friend, Abraham Doumbouya. “I would see her all the time and sometimes I would stop and push her wheelchair. Sometimes I would help put her wheelchair in my car and drive her home.One time she told me her wheelchair was her legs, but that never should have happened.Sometimes she would go to Walmart at 12:30 in the morning where there were no lights and it was pitch dark.”
Another neighbor, Diane Davis, said, “I always saw her going to the store in her electric wheelchair. I am very sorry to hear that. She was always in her wheel chair going everywhere. She was not afraid to go anywhere.”
Gonzalez made news recently when the battery of her electric wheelchair died and she was stranded, two Miramar Police officers came to her aid.
Rues said “I was fortunate enough to meet her a month and a half ago and she always had a smile on her face. She mentioned to me she had an angel helping her.”
“It’s very tragic but I hope her spirit continues and people look up to her,” said Fernando Gonzalez.
Gonzalez’s memorial service started at 4: 00 p.m. at the Levitt-Weinstein Hollywood Chapel on the grounds of Beth David Cemetery at 3201 N. 72nd Avenue.MORE NEWS: Inter Miami's David Beckham Surprises Health Care Workers At Team Stadium In Fort Lauderdale
The family requested donations in Diana’s memory be made to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood.