Liana Echavarria Stotolongo of Miami, Florida was arrested after she allegedly crashed her car into a shopping plaza, then fled the scene. Stotolongo, 46, was arrested on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after she turned herself in to authorities, according to news reports. It is not known whether other charges may be forthcoming. It is also not known whether Stotolongo has qualified for bail bond or has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
According to area news reports, the alleged car crash took place on Saturday at approximately 11:00 a.m. at a strip mall located on Southwest 72nd Street in West Kendall, Florida. Sources indicate that Stotolongo lost control of her vehicle and crashed into Eastern United Insurance of Lago Mar, a business located in the strip mall. She then allegedly drove off. However, she apparently turned herself in that evening for the hit-and-run.
No bystanders were injured in the accident, although it is not known whether Stotolongo herself sustained any injuries. The owner of Eastern United Insurance, Jaime Ordoñez, reportedly told the press that he had taken the day off so he could spend Father’s Day weekend with his family and was therefore not in the office at the time of the crash. “Thank god he decided to take the day off today of all days and he wasn’t here,” Ordoñez’s wife told the press.
However, the Dollar Tree store next door to Eastern United was open, and its’ manager reportedly heard the crash. Stotolongo’s car allegedly went over the curb and struck a parked vehicle before going through the front door and window of the insurance agency. The car then allegedly proceeded about 10 feet into the store before the driver backed out and left. “I was sitting in my office when I heard a loud boom,” the Dollar Tree’s manager reported. She evidently ran out to see what the ruckus was, but stated that the driver was already gone by the time she went outside.
Ordoñez told local media that the cost of replacing the front door and the window (as well as additional repairs) will be approximately $8,000. It is unclear whether he plans to press charges for the damages as well as lost business. It is unclear who owns the car that was purportedly damaged in the crash, nor is it known how much damage was done to the vehicle.
Accident cases are rampant in South Florida. Just days ago, a bad airplane accident in Florida’s Panhandle injured five, news sources report. The Air Force CV-22, a military plane, crashed in a field during a training session with five persons aboard: Major Brian Luce, Captain Brett Cassidy, and Sergeants Edilberto Malave, Christopher Dawson, and Sean McMahon. The five are recovering in hospitals; all are in stable condition, save McMahon, who was described as in guarded condition.
Press sources indicate that the cause of the crash has not yet been released to the public and, indeed, may not be known to the military. An investigation as reportedly been launched, but it has yet to reach a conclusion. It is not clear if an airplane malfunction may be at fault.