A woman in an electric wheelchair was killed Wednesday night after she was struck by a tractor-trailer and dragged for several blocks before falling on the street.
The driver of the truck, who was pulling out of a parking lot on the 2700 block of South University Drive in Miramar, told police he didn’t see her or realize that he had hit anything.
“At this point it appears to be a tragic accident,” said Miramar Police Spokeswoman Tania Rues. “But it still is an active investigation.”
According to Rues, the woman, Diana Gonzalez, was riding along in her electric wheelchair at about 10 p.m. when she was hit. Her wheelchair became lodged under the truck, Rues said. It was not clear whether Gonzalez was in the street or on the sidewalk.
Meanwhile, the driver of the tractor-trailer, Eric Ramsey, continued south on University Drive and then toward the Turnpike.
Gonzalez fell to the street around Miramar Parkway, Rues said.
As Ramsey exited on the Turnpike to head south, he was flagged down by other motorists who warned him that the trailer was sparking, Rues said.
He pulled over, then called the Florida Highway Patrol.
By this time, Miramar police had put out an alert for a hit-and-run.
Rues said that when detectives spoke to Ramsey, he was “distraught and horrified.”
“He has been very cooperative,” Rues said.
Rues said Gonzalez was well known in the community.
“She was always out and about,” Rues said of the woman, who lived in Pembroke Pines, but often rode around Miramar in her wheelchair.
About six weeks ago, Gonzalez was featured in a WSVN-7 News story after two Miramar police officers were spotted by a viewer helping Gonzalez, whose wheelchair battery had died. The officers were caught in pictures as they pushed her home.
Gonzalez told the station that the officers were her “angels.”
“It's good to know that you have angels that can make your life easier,” Gonzalez said at the time.