Woman accused of hitting 3 people with car says victims wanted 'money, free ride to hospital'

Police say Jessica Crane, 39, struck mother, 2 children Saturday

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MIRAMAR, Fla. - A woman accused of striking a mother and her two children with her car in Miramar over the weekend said the family just wanted her money and a "free ride to the hospital," an arrest report said.

Jessica Crane, 39, faces three counts of failure to remain at an accident involving serious injury.

According to witnesses, Crane was driving a gray Infiniti south on University Boulevard near Pembroke Road when the car jumped a curb and struck a woman and her children, ages 5 and 3.

Witnesses said they saw the car weaving in and out of traffic before slamming into the woman and her children. They said the woman who was struck, Michelle James, 37, appeared to be pregnant.

According to an arrest report, witnesses followed Crane and forced her off the road. One witness reached into Crane's car and turned off the vehicle to keep her from driving away. Several witnesses held Crane until police arrived, the report said.

Detectives said officers had to place Crane in the back of a police car because she was being irate and attempting to walk away.

While in the back of the police car, Crane spontaneously said, "These (expletive) Cubans are just trying to get free money from me and a free ride to the hospital," the report said.

Police said Crane claimed that the James family was the ones who hit her car and that she never struck them. She also claimed that "These (expletive) Cubans are lying," police said.

Crane was arrested and taken to the Miramar Police Department for processing. While parked outside the police station Crane said, "I should've stayed where I was at," the report said.

James and two children were taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. The children were not seriously injured, but James remained in critical condition Monday.

Crane was released from jail Monday on $40,000 bond.

"I'm very sorry for what happened," she told Local 10 News reporter Hatzel Vela as she walked out of the building. "And that's all I can say at this moment."

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