Broward County

Hit-and-run driver used ethnic slurs, cops say

Jessica Crane
Jessica Crane Broward Sheriff Office

The driver in a Miramar hit-and-run accident that put a woman and her two children in a hospital characterized them as “------- Cubans trying to get free money from me and get a free ride to the hospital” while being arrested, according to a Miramar Police complaint affidavit.

Cape Coral’s Jessica Crane, 39, got a free ride to the Broward Sheriff’s Office main jail Saturday night. She was charged with three counts of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, a second-degree felony. Michelle James, 37, and her two children were taken to the trauma center at Hollywood Memorial Regional Hospital. James remains in critical condition, according to Miramar Police. The children’s injuries weren’t life threatening.

The police report says witnesses saw Crane’s 2008 Infiniti zooming up University Drive while swooping in and out of lanes around 5 p.m. Saturday. The car hopped up onto the sidewalk and crashed into James and her children, according to witnesses, some of whom followed Crane. After forcing her into the swale, witnesses told police one person removed the keys from Crane’s car to keep her from driving away. Several people prevented the angry Crane from walking away. Miramar police showed up and put Crane in the back of the police car, where she blurted the ethnic insults.

She also denied hitting James and her children, saying they hit her. Police believe alcohol might’ve accounted for Crane’s behavior.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal