MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Jeanette Berrios worked at a Burger King that was a few blocks away from her home near Homestead. It was usually a short and easy walk home but on a rainy early morning, a driver struck and killed her.
Berrios left the restaurant after midnight at 30390 S. Dixie Hwy. She crossed U.S. 1 safely. According to Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, she and a driver were traveling eastbound on 304th Street.
Zabaleta said Berrios was “walking in the center of the roadway to avoid large puddles of water” when the driver struck her from behind. It has been 11 days since the driver left her on the street to die.
“There’s a coward in our streets,” said Judd Rosen, an attorney who is representing the Berrios’ family.
Two of her three sons, 31-year-old Jonathan and 27-year-old Matthew Berrios, were waiting for their 55-year-old mother at the Winchester Gardens complex when they saw there were flashing police lights outside.
They ran outside and saw there was a yellow tarp covering a body near the intersection of Southwest 304th Street and Southwest 164th Avenue.
“The cop came to me and asked me what my name was and when I told him, he said, ‘Yeah, that’s your mom,’” Jonathan Berrios said.
After learning their mother was dead, the grieving men had to call their 36-year-old brother, Chris Berrio, who said he is still haunted by knowing that his mother died alone on the cold road.
“Tragedy beyond compare to hear the way they found out about their mother,” said Brett Rosen, also the Berrios’ family attorney and attorney Judd Rosen’s brother. “Their mom was the pillar of their family.”
A memorial with large teddy bears, white candles, heart-shaped balloons and standing wreaths with pink roses, white carnations, cushion poms, purple and yellow bouquets was growing.
Detectives released an image of the car that was involved in the crash. Zabaleta said the vehicle should have front-end damage, but not heavy damage because it was “a low-speed impact.”
The Berrios family and detectives are asking anyone with information about the fatal hit-and-run crash to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 1-800-346-8477.
Kysha Berrios set up a GoFundMe account to help the family deal with funeral expenses.