Erik Garcia and Mario Argumedo of Fort Lauderdale, Florida were arrested after Yanelle Lucero, 5, was killed in a hit-and-run car accident on March 19, sources indicate. Garcia, 19, was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death, no valid driver license and failure to use due care. Argumedo, also 19, was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death, tampering with evidence and allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a vehicle in his possession. It is not clear whether either party has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
According to the police report, 5-year-old Lucero was playing on a battery operated Big Wheel, a tricycle made for younger children, outside of her home in the 100 block of Northwest 67th Street just past 5:00 p.m. when the hit-and-run vehicle appeared, struck her and subsequently fled the scene. It is not clear how fast he was going at the time of the car accident. Garcia, who was driving, reportedly fled the scene on foot immediately after striking the girl; Argumedo got out of the vehicle, picked up Lucero and brought her to her mother before taking off, according to the arrest report.
The little girl’s mother started to drive her daughter to the hospital and called 911 on the way there. Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue crews met her halfway at Sunrise Boulevard and Interstate 95. They transported the girl to Broward General Medical Center. She was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Failure to stop at the scene of the deadly hit-and-run accident is a second-degree felony under Florida law. However, failing to stop at the scene of such accidents is fairly common in Florida. On Saturday in Orlando, 14-year-old Julianne Hobbs died in the hospital after she and a friend were struck by a hit-and-run driver. The incident reportedly took place at around 9:35 p.m. on Spring Garden Avenue near Jeanette Drive.
Hobbs and 14-year-old Rachael Russell were taking a walk when the incident occurred. Russell luckily escaped the incident with minor injuries. Hobbs was flown to Halifax Medical Center with serious injuries. She was pronounced dead soon after.
No description of the driver or the hit-and-run vehicle is available, though a Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson indicated that the car may have sustained damage to its’ windshield or front end. She says that the FHP is attempting to determine whether the car accident was intentional. Police have asked members of the public to come forward with any pertinent information.
Meanwhile, police are still searching for a driver who fled the scene of an accident where an elderly woman was run over by a car, then run over by a second car in Fort Lauderdale. 70-year-old Digna Camacho was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. A friend of hers was going to Cuba, and Camacho was walking home from dropping off letters for the friend to take to some of her family members in Cuba.
The accident report states that Camacho was crossing West Davie Boulevard when she was hit by the first vehicle, which pulled over. Then, a Ford F150 crew cab model ran over her. The driver reportedly pulled over, got out of the truck, then got back in his vehicle and drove off.