MIAMI – The father of a 13-year-old girl who was killed in a 2012 hit-and-run crash testified on the first day of trial for the man alleged to have been responsible for her death.
Kirk Camacho choked back tears Wednesday reliving the moments after his minivan was ripped in half by a speeding SUV, killing his daughter, Kaely.
"I basically saw what seemed like a flash followed by a sound that sounded like a bomb" he testified in court.
Police said the SUV was driven by Sandor Guillen, who is charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in the April 2012 crash.
Kaely Camacho, an eighth-grade student at Southwood Middle School, was riding in the back seat while her sister was in the front seat.
Kirk Camacho said his daughter was barely alive when he first reached for her after the impact.
"I leaned forward, unbuckled her seat belt, asked if she was OK and, of course, there was absolutely no reply," he testified. "She had blood coming down her face."
Police said Guillen fled the scene but was found not far away with a blood-alcohol level three times the state legal limit of .08 percent.
Assistant state attorney Laura Adams presented her opening arguments by calling Guillen a "coward" for leaving the scene while Kirk Camacho was left holding his dying daughter.
Defense attorney Bruce Lehr kept his opening statements short, asking the jury to focus on the evidence and not the tragedy of a young life cut short.
Lehr plans to show that evidence in the investigation was tampered with and important investigative notes are missing.
"There will be no other evidence to show anything more than a collision and, unfortunately, a death," Lehr said. "The evidence will show nothing more."