Samaritan talks about following fatal hit-and-run driver
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A Good Samaritan is talking about springing into action after witnessing a fatal hit and run accident.
Miami Beach Police credit Jairo Fuentes for leading them to the suspected hit-and-run driver who left the pedestrian dead in the street, early Monday morning. Fuentes said, "In the beginning I froze because I tried to stop and I looked and he fell to the floor and didn't react. He lifted his head for a second, and then I said, 'Wow, this is really bad.' And then I realized this person just kept going. So, I just sped up and catched up with her and started flashing my lights."
Karlie Tomica, 20, is accused of striking and killing Stefano Riccioletti, executive chef at Terrazza at Shore Club on South Beach, near the Shelborne Hotel. She was later arrested but has since bonded out of jail.
Though Tomica ran from media after she bonded out, she cannot hide from the law, just as she couldn't hide from Fuentes. The Good Samaritan followed her in his car to her home while on the phone with 911 dispatchers.
Police have since released the 911 call between the Good Samaritan and a dispatcher:
Good Samaritan: "I'm actually following that car that just hit a man on Collins Avenue. As far as I know, this man, she must have killed him. You know?"
Dispatcher: "Sir, what's the address?"
Good Samaritan: "The address? I'm actually following her right now. The address must have been on... let me see."
Dispatcher: "Was this the hit and run on 18th and Collins that a car hit a person?"
Good Samaritan: "I'm following that lady right now."
Dispatcher: "You're following the subject?"
Good Samaritan: "Yes, I'm following her now. Yes."
When paramedics arrived to the crash scene, they found Riccioletti, a husband and father of two, dead on the scene. The victim was once featured on 7News' segment Bite with Belkys.
Police questioned Tomica, who, they allege, struck and killed Riccioletti at about 6:30 a.m. at the intersection of 18th Street and Collins Avenue. Investigators said she was driving home from her job at a South Beach bar when she struck the victim and took off.
Authorities found the front windshield of Tomica's car smashed, and rescue crews treated her on scene before police placed her in handcuffs. Police suspect her of drinking and driving when the accident occurred. "It's a high possibility that DUI was involved here," Hernandez said.
Police said Tomica will face a minimum charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving a death. If she is found to have been drinking during the crash, her legal troubles could be worse.
The Shore Club issued a statement in which they expressed their condolences to Riccioletti's family, "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. He was a valued member of our team and will be greatly missed." Lucy Martin General Manager at the Shore Club.
According to Miami Beach police, Tomica left her shift at Nikki Beach as a bartender about 35 minutes before the alleged hit-and-run. It is unknown where she went after she left her workplace.
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