NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) — A mother of two young boys is in “very critical” condition after a hit-and-run driver in a black Mercedes struck her car and she was ejected, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
A cousin of the victim, 37-year-old Lucia Hernandez, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that Hernandez is in the intensive care unit at the Ryder Trauma Center and she said her husband is at her side.
“She is a good person and she loves her kids,” said the cousin as tears flowed down her face.
The cousin, who would only identify herself as “Consuela,” told D’Oench that Hernandez is from Peru and has four brothers and four sisters who live in Lima. She did not know if any of them were headed to South Florida to see her.
“I am too upset to talk about this on camera,” said the cousin. “I am just too upset. Also I would rather her husband speak for the family.”
Florida Highway Patrol trooper and spokesman Joe Sanchez said the driver of the black Mercedes left so much evidence behind that FHP has been able to identify him.
Sanchez said the driver has hired an attorney who has said he expects the driver to turn himself in sometime soon.
“He left his identification, his phone and plenty of evidence in the vehicle so we were able to determine who the driver of the car was that left the scene,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez said three vehicles were involved in the accident that happened at 8:30 Monday night at Northeast 18th Ave. on Miami Gardens Drive.
“We have several witnesses who said the black Mercedes was traveling westbound on Miami Gardens Drive at a high rate of speed and driving in a reckless manner. He blew the red light and crashed into the silver Toyota,” said Sanchez. “He spun around and the driver was ejected from the Toyota,” said Sanchez. “He continued traveling westbound across the median and collided with a tow truck that was eastbound.”
The unidentified tow truck driver did not want to show his face or reveal his identity but he told CBS4 that the driver of the Mercedes actually stopped to make sure he was ok before he took off on foot.
“Yeah, I saw him,” said the tow truck driver. “He asked me if I was ok.”
He said he did not remember what the driver of the Mercedes looked like.
“I was so focused on the lady that I didn’t know what happened to him after that,” he said.
Witness Kelvin Cabrera said he will not forget what he heard.
“I heard a big explosion and crash and I saw a woman flying out of the Toyota,” said Cabrera in Spanish.
Cabrera said he thought he saw a couple of people running away but Sanchez said investigators believe that the driver of the black Mercedes had no passengers.
Sanchez said that driver should have stayed at the scene. He said leaving the scene of an accident almost always leads to more charges.
“With him leaving, there are charges of leaving the scene with property damage and leaving the scene with an injury,” said Sanchez. “They are serious offenses. Both of them are felonies.”
“Charges of course in this case are pending this person turning himself in,” said Sanchez.
“We don’t know where he is right now but we hope soon he will be in custody,”
said Sanchez. “According to witnesses he ran from the scene and may have been hurt at the scene.”
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