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19-year-old arrested in hit-and-run crash that killed woman, injured 2 young children

LAUDERHILL, Fla. – A 19-year-old man surrendered to authorities Tuesday for his alleged role in a deadly hit-and-run crash that occurred Monday morning in Lauderhill.

The crash occurred around 10:45 a.m. in the area of State Road 7 and Northwest 16th Street.

Sky 10 was above the scene after police said the driver of a green BMW crashed into a red SUV, causing it to slam into a light pole.

The vehicle rolled over two times before it came to a stop on its side, with the driver and passenger still trapped inside.

Witnesses and bystanders rushed to the wreck and were able to turn the SUV upright. The driver was rushed to Broward Health Medical Center in serious condition. The passenger’s injuries were so critical that despite being airlifted to the hospital, she did not survive.

As Lauderhill police arrived to the scene of the crash, the driver of the green BMW was nowhere in sight. Witnesses watching from a nearby drive-through told investigators the suspect placed two children, who they said were in the car at the time of the crash, into another vehicle, that took off. The driver then walked away before police arrived.

Detectives learned the small children were taken to Northwest Medical Center in Margate by their mother. Their injuries ranged from a broken nose to an injured leg. It is there that the children’s mother told police the man behind the wheel was her boyfriend, identified as 19-year-old Decarius Richards, who turned himself in on Tuesday.

According to Richards' arrest report, he had placed the children into the car of a friend who was following him and told that person to drop the children off at a home.

Records show that Richards has an extensive criminal history as both a juvenile and an adult, and he is currently out on bond in connection with separate cases.

Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos went to Richards' home Tuesday to learn more about the crash, where he was met by people who tried to justify his alleged actions.

“He’s young, you feel me? You have to understand, he panicked,” one person said.

Ramos and his crew were then asked to leave.

Investigators said Richards was driving without a license at the time of the crash. He now faces a number of charges that include child neglect and leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death.

He was booked into the Broward County Main Jail and appeared in court Wednesday, at which time he was ordered held in lieu of a $300,000 bond.

Richards' mother, Tawanna Bruton, who is the grandmother of the injured children who were inside the car, also appeared in court Wednesday before being released. She’s accused of violently resisting officers who were trying to locate the two children.

Police say the investigation isn’t over.

“We’re still looking into a lot of other avenues to determine why the kids left the scene where they were taken to and why that actually transpired as opposed to getting the kids help immediately, medical attention immediately,” Lauderhill police Lt. Michael Santiago said.


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