A Lauderhill mother and her two children had to be hospitalized with serious injuries after a hit-and-run driver pushed them off the road and caused them to crash into a tree. The names of the woman, 35, and her two kids (aged 4 and 8) have not yet been released.
According to Lauderhill Police and Fire Rescue, the crash took place near Pine Island Road and Commercial Boulevard a little before 11 a.m. on January 14. The woman was driving a BMW when a dark-colored vehicle police described as a “multi-seat, limousine-style bus” purportedly performed an illegal U-turn in front of her. This forced her to swerve out of the way and crash into a tree, sources allege.
The woman and her children were all wearing seat belts and were properly restrained, but the crash caused the BMW’s airbags to deploy and extensively damaged the vehicle’s roof line, causing it to buckle 12 inches in some places.
Paramedics rushed the woman and her kids to Broward Health Medical Center. New sources say the woman reportedly complained of chest pain, but her injuries were not life threatening. Her children will have to be hospitalized for several days, according to the press.
Witnesses reportedly tried to pursue the hit-and-run driver to inform him that he caused an accident and needs to return to the scene. The driver allegedly appeared to agree, but then sped off and disappeared after cutting through a gas station. Police ask any witnesses with information to come forward.
A similar hit-and-run accident was reported in Broward County on New Year’s Day. The driver responsible was identified as Philip Varsam. He reportedly crashed into cyclist Alkiva Douglas of Fort Lauderdale. Douglas, 19, suffered severe brain damage and died a few days later.
Varsam, 28, surrendered to police on January 3. He was initially arrested for failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving a serious injury, but his charges were upgraded when Douglas died. Varsam is being held at Broward Main Jail. His bond was set at $30,000 by Broward County Judge Michael Davis.
A driver involved in a crash must stop. Leaving the scene only makes the situation worse. Under Florida Law, a hit-and-run is a felony charge and if it results in a death, the driver responsible faces a minimum sentence of four years in prison.