1 dead after hit and run on Turnpike
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A hit and run horror on the Florida Turnpike has left a family and loved ones shattered.
The driver never looked back after striking another car near Southwest 200th Street, in Cutler Bay, on the Turnpike, Friday night, some time between 10 and 10:30 p.m. It ended with a dead passenger and an injured driver. Now a family is hoping for answers.
The driver of that vehicle, Bryan Echevarria, remains at Kendall Regional Medical Center, Saturday, and cannot remember any of the accident. His passenger, Elizabeth Sanchez, was his best friend.
His wife, Sarah Lopez, said the two left to go run a short errand. An hour and a half later, she still had not heard from them and became worried. She called them repeatedly but never heard back. "I was at home waiting for them," said Lopez. "I was supposed to have been in her seat."
"It hit them on the side and completely crushed them," said Karolyn Pena, the stepdaughter of the driver.
After the car struck Echevarria's Nissan Pathfinder from behind, he lost control. "It spun out of control," said Pena. "They went facing traffic."
The Pathfinder wound up slamming into the side of a truck, killing Sanchez instantly. "My best friend, she got killed," said Lopez. "She's 37, and she's leaving two teenage kids."
Florida High Patrol troopers said the driver who caused the three-car crash sped off. "How can you just kill somebody and just run away?" said Pena. "How cowardly can you be? The mother was so devastated, she was almost on the floor from how bad she was. It was so sad."
Echevarria's body is now bruised, and he has no idea why. He cannot recall what happened after the crash. "He blacked out," said Lopez. "He was very bad, He has a gash in his head."
While he heals, his wife issued this plea: "Please, please come up front, let us know what happened. Anybody can make a mistake, but we want to know."
Police hope someone saw something that night and are searching for a PT cruiser with front-end damage. If you have any information on this hit and run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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