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18-year-old killed in hit-and-run crash in northwest Miami-Dade

Mother of victim begs driver to come forward

Derek Betancourt, 18, was killed in a hit-and-run crash involving a Mercedes-Benz in northwest Miami-Dade, authorities said.
Derek Betancourt, 18, was killed in a hit-and-run crash involving a Mercedes-Benz in northwest Miami-Dade, authorities said. (Miami-Dade Police Department)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida mother is heartbroken after her oldest child was killed by a hit and run driver.

Miami-Dade police released a flyer Monday in hopes of finding the driver who fatally struck the 18-year-old boy with their Mercedes-Benz.

The incident occurred just before 8 p.m. Sunday in the 19600 block of Northwest 47th Avenue.

According to the flyer, a 2015 to 2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 struck the teen, who was on his bicycle, and continued north on Northwest 47th Avenue without ever stopping to help the victim.

The victim, Derek Betancourt, ultimately died from his injuries.

“I want justice for my son,” said Yanelis Betancourt, Derek’s mother. “That’s my first born. My everything.”

Police said the car was dark in color and is missing its left front outer grille and front Mercedes emblem. It also possibly has damage to its windshield.

Surveillance footage shows a dark car speed and then strike the victim before driving out of frame, leaving the injured teen on the road.

Anna Moore lives nearby and heard the impact before running to the victim.

“The sound was like someone hitting a bag of sand,” Moore said. “He was trying to say something. I said ‘Stay with us, be quiet, don’t say anything and stay with us.'"

On Monday night, loved ones gathered to remember Derek during a candlelight vigil.

His mother is begging the driver to grow a conscience.

“I just want peace,” she said. “Turn yourself in please, you took my child, you took a part of me."

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call Detective J. Childers at 305-471-2425. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477. A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for information that leads to an arrest.


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