WEST PALM BEACH, FL - October 14, 2020 - According to an online news report published on palmbeachpost.com, the driver who left the scene of an accident after striking and killing a pregnant mother dead has been identified and arrested, according to police. The 39-year-old woman who caused the fatal pedestrian accident also severely injured the victim's 3-year-old child, who is in critical condition, according to police. The suspect was arrested on Thursday night in Martin County, Florida.
The 39-year-old female suspect is facing several criminal charges that include, but may not be limited to, driving without a license and leaving the scene of a crash involving death. The West Palm Beach police stated that the suspect had been booked into the Martin County jail, and she will be transported to the jail in Palm Beach County, Florida.
According to the news report, the victim's friends and family wanted the victim to be remembered as a devoted mother of six children who immigrated to the United States from Guatemala. She immigrated to the United States after the father of four of her kids passed away. One close friend stated that she did whatever it took to help her children, and she had faced and overcame many hardships.
The police did not release any additional details about the suspect's arrest or how law enforcement identified the suspect or how they located the suspect.
On September 29, 2020, the victim was standing along Pinewood Avenue with her 3-year-old child. The two victims were standing behind a Honda Odyssey. Then without any warning, a van backed into the mother and her small child and struck them. The accident occurred at approximately 3 p.m. The driver of the van did not stop to render aid and then illegally left the scene of the accident. During the accident, the driver continued to back up the van, then struck a parked vehicle, and left the accident scene, according to police statements.
The victim and her child were transported to St. Mary's Medical Center to receive medical treatment. The mother tragically passed away at St. Mary's Medical Center. Fortunately, the emergency medical staff was able to save the baby of whom the victim was pregnant. There were no details of the victim's pregnancy term. The victim's baby and her 3-year-old child remain in critical condition at St. Mary's Medical Center.
The next Tuesday, police discovered a vehicle that matched the description of the vehicle used in the fatal pedestrian accident. The vehicle was discovered by law enforcement approximately one quarter-mile from the accident scene. The police discovered that the vehicle's license plate was removed.
Police were able to identify the Honda's owner by the vehicle identification number, which led them to the suspect in the criminal case. Two nights later, Martin County Sheriff's Office special investigators, along with the West Palm Beach police, proceeded to a home in Indiantown, Florida, where they found the suspect, and they arrested her.
According to the West Palm Beach Police, the victim and the suspect knew each other. However, the police have not revealed details about their relationship. Law enforcement investigators have stated that they don't have enough information to determine if the accident was intentional or not. However, the investigators are looking into a potential motive.
The victim's nephew alleged reported that his aunt received verbal threats from the suspect, and he felt his aunt's death was not an accident.