Turchin's Take: Hit-and-run heartbreak

Published On: Mar 19 2012 10:59:41 AM EDT   Updated On: Mar 19 2012 11:14:52 AM EDT

I can’t help myself. I have to get something off my chest.

What a coward. It takes a special kind of person – and that’s being kind -- to hit and child with a vehicle and keeps going.

How can you live with yourself? Do you have kids? How would you feel if someone did this to your child?

If you saw the tears fall from the eyes of the 8-year-old sister of 5-year-old Yanelle Lucero on television, telling reporters how much her sister meant to her – you couldn’t help but be moved. My heart ached.

Yanelle was riding her battery-operated toy car when the driver of a cargo van plowed through her Fort Lauderdale neighborhood and ran her down….and never turned back. He left her there to die alone.

Someone scooped her up, took her to her home and her mother jumped in the car and headed for the hospital. Paramedics met her on the way, but it was too late. Yanelle passed away.

I can’t even imagine what kind of low life would just leave — though I’m guessing it’s for one of the following reasons:

1.    The driver is in this country illegally, and is afraid of being deported if they stick around and wait for the cops.

2.    The driver has warrants out for their arrest, and knows they’ll be heading to jail if they wait around for police.

3.    The driver is drunk and/or high.

4.    The driver is uninsured, and is more afraid of getting a ticket than they are about a kid being injured on the side of the road.

In each of the above instances, the driver has already showed a blatant disregard for obeying the law — I don’t know why it should surprise me that they’d be more concerned about saving their own necks than saving a kid they just ran down.

I am pleading with the driver of the van to do the right thing and turn yourself in. I’m sure you were doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing, or running from something. Still, fess up; face the music like a man. And, if you know the person who did this, you too should do what’s right. 

Please.

Note: After this blog was published, police arrested two suspects in the connection with this incident.