NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Residents in a northwest Miami-Dade neighborhood said that a road where a woman was fatally struck by an SUV Sunday night is a place where drivers frequently speed.
“They go faster than I-95 through here,” said Efrain Torres, who lives in the area.
The body of a woman, who neighbors said was in her 70s, remained on the pavement beneath a yellow tarp Sunday night, while police lights flashed and detectives investigated what caused her death.
Residents in the area told Local 10 News the woman was struck by a vehicle and that the driver just kept on going, however authorities said the driver of the Toyota RAV4 remained at the scene.
Belen Gonzalez said she knew the victim. Gonzalez said she used to see her frequently cross busy Northwest 103rd Street at 13th Avenue to go to the convenience store.
“She walked to the store all the time,” said Gonzalez. “It’s sad, real sad.”
The victim’s relatives confirmed she was crossing the busy road so she could buy something at the store, but she never made it home.
Juan Provedo identified the victim as his significant other, Maria Hernandez. On Sunday, he was at the scene visibly upset and was tended to by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
Loved ones said Hernandez was part of a tight-knit community that knew and loved her.
“She was a beautiful person -- a very beautiful person,” Torres said. “She used to, you know, talk to everybody and say, ‘Hi’ in the morning to everybody.”
“She’s a very nice lady. That’s all I can say. She always come to the Dollar Tree,” Sara-Lue Flash Smith said.
Provedo said Hernandez was going to the Dollar Tree to buy tres leches.
“When I found out about the accident, she was lying on the road,” he said in Spanish.
“She always crossed on the right-hand side,” Torres said. “This time, he hit her so hard that it knocked her right across the other side.”
Hernandez was a mother of four daughters, a grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother. She was also a retired seamstress who immigrated from Cuba after the revolution.
People who live in the neighborhood want to see a crosswalk installed where Hernandez was hit to make the area safer and get drivers to slow down.
“You see that people sometimes at night, they run over 100 straight down,” Torres said.
The victim’s daughter said she is grateful the driver who hit her mother did the right thing and remained at the scene.
She said she prays for the driver for the guilt that that person must be feeling.
Police have not said whether the driver will be facing any charges or citations.