A Broward bicyclist was left in critical condition Tuesday after a hit-and-run driver struck him, then kept driving for two miles with the man caught in the car’s smashed rear window.
Once the driver arrived at his Pompano Beach townhouse, he removed the biker, identified as Craig Camlin, 53, from the car’s roof and dumped him in a wooded area behind a trash bin and bushes.
Then, the driver, who police said was 27-year-old Axel Inostroza, hid his damaged, black 2003 Ford Mustang to keep his girlfriend from seeing it and went inside to sleep, according to the confession he later gave investigators.
A landscaping crew found Camlin clinging to life at around 9 a.m. and called authorities. He was taken to North Broward Hospital, where he was in critical condition late Tuesday with spinal injuries, a deep gash on his head, and a nearly severed ear.
The spinal injuries could leave Camlin paralyzed, according to police.
Here’s what happened, according to Fort Lauderdale police: Inostroza was driving in the 5200 block of Northeast 18th Avenue around 6:30 a.m. when his Mustang hit Camlin, who was biking in the same direction.
The front-passenger side of Inostroza’s car clipped the back of Camlin’s bike, sending him rolling on the roof of the Mustang, where he stopped on the back window in front of the spoiler.
A neighbor’s friend described the sound of the collision to Miami Herald news partner CBS4.
“She just heard like a thump, but not an impact,” said neighbor Tom Karrmann. “She heard screeching and was waiting for an impact, like hitting a car or something and never heard it.”
Inostroza did not stop, police said. With Camlin on the rear of the car, Inostroza drove home, and removed Camlin’s battered body, then hid the car.
Broward Sheriff’s deputies, working with Fort Lauderdale investigators, found Inostroza at a Pompano Beach body shop around 2 p.m. Monday, hastily trying to get the car repaired.
They called Fort Lauderdale police after noticing that the damage to the Mustang was consistent with the hit-and-run. The front bumper, which had been found at the scene, was missing. The front and rear windows were smashed and there was blood spattered near the rear of the car.
At first, Inostroza, who works at a Fort Lauderdale restaurant, told deputies he had hit a stop sign. He later changed his story and confessed to Fort Lauderdale traffic-homicide investigators.
A Broward prosecutor told a judge Tuesday that Inostroza admitted he had been drinking before the incident, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Officials could not administer a DUI test because of the time lapse.
The incident was handled through a joint effort between BSO in Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale police, said Detective DeAnna Greenlaw, Fort Lauderdale police spokeswoman.
Inostroza’s actions after the crash were difficult to understand, she said.
“Maybe it was an accident, but then you continue to drive for almost two miles, then try to dispose of the victim, who is clinging to life? You have to be completely heartless,” she said.
“ It leaves you speechless.”