Truck driver who unwittingly ran over man won't face charges
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The driver of a dump truck who ran over a South Florida man while he was sleeping on a sidewalk Saturday morning said he was unaware he had fatally struck a person, a claim supported by surveillance footage, investigators said.
A witness called police early Saturday morning about a body lying at the CR station on 2810 NW 12th Ave. in Miami. Rescue crews pronounced 54-year-old Wilfredo Gonzalez Santana dead on the scene.
"He's a very nice guy," said Ivan Aguila, who knew the victim. "He lived in my building; he lived in the fourth floor. He doesn't bother with nobody."
After looking at surveillance footage, investigators said a dump truck driver ran over the victim, who had laid down to go to sleep at the ramp where drivers enter the station.
Police said the vehicle that fatally struck Gonzalez Santana was a red and white dump truck that filled up with gas around 6:20 a.m. They said the surveillance footage detectives reviewed shows the victim sleeping on the curb and driveway ramp. "From what we have observed, it's very possible that he might not have recognized that he ran over somebody," said Miami Police Detective William Moreno.
Emotionally distraught members of Gonzalez Santana's family showed up at the scene.
"When you hit somebody with your car, you have to wait for the police to make a report," said Aguila. "You can't run away like you're killing an animal. [Even] if I hit a dog on the street, I'm going to stop and help it."
Miami Police posted a picture of the truck taken from the station's surveillance footage on Twitter Saturday night. The tweet read in part, "No charges are expected but we need driver."
The next day, investigators posted the following tweet: "#dumptruck #driver came into station late last night after media airs story & photo of truck GREAT JOB! No charges being filed #caseclosed."
According to detectives, the truck driver said he was unaware he had run over a human being, and in fact, he thought he had run over the curb.
People in the neighborhood who knew Gonzalez Santana said they were saddened by his passing. "Unbelievable," said Jai Carmona.
The victim's son said he believes the truck driver should face charges. Police have not released the driver's identity but will make more information available Monday.
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