She was a beautiful teenager on the threshold of adulthood and what she hoped would be a career in modeling. All of her dreams were vanquished by a hit and run driver, however, who left her to die on a Florida street earlier this week.
The 17-year-old Tampa high school student was crossing a street just past 8 p.m., law enforcement officials say, on her way home from work. That was when a vehicle struck her and then sped off, leaving her alone on the pavement.
The girl's grieving mother could be seen sobbing uncontrollably at the site of the Tampa crash in a TV report. The teen's grief-stricken brother asked a most important question: "Why didn't the person stop and call 911? She wasn't an animal. She was a human being," he said.
Grief counselors were at the girl's high school to talk to students trying to deal with the inexplicable loss of a friend. "We are all devastated," one of her teachers said.
The man who struck the teen and drove off into the night was later apprehended by police. He said she darted out onto the street and that he "freaked out."
The 56-year-old was apparently not too "freaked out" to stop himself from filing an auto insurance claim for the damage done to his car by hitting the girl. Police said that claim is what led them to the man, who has since been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
There is no punishment that will undo the tragic events of that night. We hope the family somehow finds peace.
Sometimes it helps families to pursue justice, and hold the responsible party accountable for what they have done. An experienced Fort Lauderdale personal injury and wrongful death attorney can help you fight for your loved one.