MIAMI – A South Florida family is pleading for help in finding the person who fatally struck a woman with their vehicle over the weekend in Miami.
"Not only did you take a life, you destroyed a family," the victim's nephew, Tony Bolano, said. "Strangers have come up to me and said she was like family to them."
Police said Hilda Garcia, 77, was crossing Northwest 37th Avenue near Ninth Street around 10:15 p.m. Sunday when she was struck by a vehicle.
The driver left her for dead.
Authorities believe the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed on a stretch of road where the speed limit is only 35 mph.
"They just fled like a coward," Garcia's son said.
Garcia's son said he received the news about his mother as he was on his way to the crosswalk to safely escort her across the street. He immediately called his cousin, who rushed to the scene.
"My cousin called me on the phone, screaming and yelling, 'Come running! Come running! Please help me. They killed her,'" Bolano said. "The only thing I remember is them saying, 'I don't wanna see her that way.'"
"Why wouldn't they stop? They just kept on," Garcia's son said.
The car is believed to be a 2005-2009 Pontiac G6 that is either black or gray in color. It could have two or four doors.
Relatives said they were getting ready to celebrate Garcia's 78th birthday Friday, but now they're planning a memorial as they plead with the public for information and for that driver to grow a conscience.
"Somebody can't live out there knowing they took an innocent life, destroyed a family and just go on their merry way," Bolano said.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.