Ricardo Gonzalez of North Miami-Dade, Florida turned himself in on June 13 for his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run crash that killed Hilda Garcia.
Gonzalez, 25, faces charges of vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, attempting to tamper with physical evidence, and leaving the scene of a crash involving death. He was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. It is unclear if he has acquired an attorney.
According to the arrest report, Gonzalez surrendered to police at El Caribe Cafe Restaurant on Flagler Street. He reportedly confessed to the hit-and-run crash, detailing how he ran down Garcia, 77, with his Pontiac as she crossed NW 37th Avenue and tried to cover up the crime.
He allegedly told the officers that he was going 40 to 45 mph on the right lane of a 35 mph zone with a broken right headlight. He said he knew he struck something because there was hole in the windshield, but he didn’t stop because he was scared for his life.
The next day, Gonzalez purportedly sold the Pontiac to a junkyard to hide the evidence. The report says he got $200 for the vehicle from a junkyard that crushed it and sold the scrap metal to a business in Georgia.
Records show that Gonzalez has been fined four times for running a red light in a 17-month period spanning from 2015 to 2017. He also has three misdemeanors for marijuana possession. He reportedly admitted to smoking marijuana before the fatal hit-and-run crash.
“He also stated when he smokes marijuana, his left eye closes due to his lazy eye,” according to the arrest report. “When asked if he felt any effects from the marijuana cigarette, he stated that he felt buzzed, but was fine to drive because he has always driven buzzed and has never hit anyone before.”
When asked why he waited several days before turning himself in, Gonzalez told the police that he wanted to see his mother and grandmother one last time because he knew he was never going to see them again, the report said.
Florida has one of the highest numbers of fatal hit-and-run accidents in the U.S. 1,814 hit-and-run crashes involving at least one fatality were reported from 2006 to 2016. It is illegal for a driver involved in an accident to leave the scene of the crash. Doing so will significantly increase the penalties for the driver, even if they didn’t cause the crash.
Florida DUI Attorney