Angela Estrella of Miami, Florida is facing a number of charges after she allegedly fled officers in a high-speed chase following a hit-and-run car accident, sources indicate. When she failed to stop, police opened fire on her vehicle. Estrella’s two children – both unidentified in the report – were in the vehicle with her during the chase, but neither was injured. Estrella, 36, was taken to the Osceola Regional Hospital to be treated for her injuries. The FHP says she will be booked into the Osceola County Jail on multiple charges after her release from the hospital. An investigation by the FHP is pending, and it is unclear whether alcohol or substance abuse played a role in the chase.
Reports say the pursuit began at around noon on Tuesday. Estrella was driving along the Florida Turnpike in her SUV when an officer attempted to pull her over. It is not clear what incited the attempted traffic stop. As Estella turned off an exit ramp onto US-192, her vehicle struck two cars, reports allege. The officer pulled over and exited his cruiser to check on the cars; at that point, Estrella allegedly stepped on the gas, crashed into the officer’s cruiser, and drove away.
The officer got back into his patrol car and pursued Estrella in an attempt to pull her over again, reports say. However, Estrella allegedly failed to stop yet again. She reportedly led the cop nearly two miles before she was involved in a broadside collision with a pickup truck near Michigan Avenue. “They were trying to stop her. I’m glad I was able to stop her so no one else got hurt,” the witness in the pickup truck told reporters. “I wasn’t happy. I just got my truck out of the shop yesterday with a $1,000 repair and now it’s probably totaled.”
Pursuing officers told the press that they were unaware as they chased Estrella that two passengers, one a minor, were in the back seat of the vehicle. “We thought there was only one suspect in the vehicle. The vehicle windows are very tinted, and it’s hard to see inside the vehicle with everything transpiring,” a spokesperson from the FHP told press reporters. Estrella’s daughter is 18, but her son’s age was not disclosed.
Not knowing that Estrella’s children were in the vehicle, officers continued to pursue Estrella at speeds of up to 112 MPH, the FPH says. At one point, the police opened fire on the vehicle, reports say, though no one was shot. A FHP spokesperson noted that the gunfire would be included in their ongoing investigation.
When Estrella was finally stopped, emergency responders were forced to carry her away on a stretcher, sources say. “She was really emotional,” one witness told press. “She seemed like she really didn’t know what was going on.” Estrella was transported to the Osceola Regional Hospital for reported minor injuries. Her offspring was unscathed, and the minor was put in the care of a relative.
The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the pursuit and the two purported accidents. Estrella, officials have said, will be escorted into police custody on numerous charges when she is discharged from the hospital. It is unclear if any other parties were injured during the accidents and resulting chase. Additional lawsuits by those affected in the accidents are also a possibility.