MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Less than 24 hours after the family of a woman killed in a hit and run accident made a public plea for help in finding the driver responsible, he turned himself in to police.
Ricardo Alexander González, 25, is facing a number of charges, including DUI manslaughter, in the death of 76-year-old Hilda Garcia.
He is currently being held on $210,000 bond.
“Man I’m so happy,” said Alberto Garcia.
Garcia’s son reacted to news that the man accused of mowing his mother down is behind bars.
“I haven’t stopped crying, it’s not gonna bring her back, but at least she can go to rest,” he said.
The accident happened Sunday around 10:15 p.m.
Garcia, who was on her way to the store, was struck when she tried to cross NW 37th Avenue at NW 9th Street. The impact was so severe that her legs were severed from her body, according to the police.
After the accident police said they were looking for dark colored 2005-2009 Pontiac, possibly a 2 or 4-door G6, which would have a broken or missing front grille.
On Wednesday, her family asked the public for help in finding the driver responsible.
“He left her lying there like a dog, didn’t even stop to help her out, didn’t even stop to call for rescue or anything. She was a wonderful lady, loved by everybody in the community,” said Tony Bolanos, Garcia’s nephew.
“Somebody can’t live out there knowing that they took an innocent life, destroy a family and just go on their merry way,” he added.
Miami police said they received a call from someone who said that Monday night, around midnight, he saw two men in the Palms of Pembroke Pines community damaging a dark-colored Pontiac. The caller said when he asked one of the men why they were doing that, he said not to worry because he was the owner.
On Wednesday, police went to the Palms of Pembroke Pines and made contact with the person who called them. He told them that the vehicle the two men had damaged had been towed away. He added that the car’s shattered windshield was next to the dumpster.
Police collected it as evidence.
About an hour later, a call came in that Gonzalez wanted to turn himself in at a restaurant.
When police arrived, Gonzalez was sitting with his head in his lap and crying, according to his arrest report. He then reportedly made a full confession.
An employee at the restaurant told CBS4 what he saw.
“He just came and like turned himself in,” said Henry Iraheta, who works at Caribe Restaurant. “He was just, like, ‘Hey, I killed this woman. My conscience keeps eating me alive. I couldn’t handle it anymore.’ That’s what I heard.”
Gonzalez told investigators that before the accident, he smoked a marijuana blunt. He told the police that “he smokes marijuana twice a day and has been doing that for the last ten years.”
When he asked if he felt any effects from the marijuana, Gonzalez said, “he felt buzzed but was fine to drive because he has always driven buzzed and never hit anyone before.”
Gonzalez said he was doing 40 – 45 mph in a 35 mph zone when he hit Garcia. He said he felt an impact, but didn’t know what he hit, according to his arrest report.
After the crash, he called a friend of his mother who lives in Pembroke Pines and asked if he could stay there for the night. It was there that he decided to sell the car to a junkyard, according to his arrest form. He said he broke out the windshield and threw it in the dumpster because he didn’t want to attract any attention to the car.
When asked why he waited three days to surrender himself, Gonzalez told investigators, “he wanted to see his mother and grandmother one last time because he was never gonna see them again for what he had done.”
“It doesn’t make it easy, he took her life,” said Garcia.
CBS4 Reporter Rielle Creighton asked Garcia if there was any relief, he said “not really.”