Little Havana - Flagami

Grandmother goes to a gas station and then heads home. She never makes it, cops say.

Mercedes Sarmiento
Mercedes Sarmiento Facebook

Mercedes Sarmiento was crossing busy Southwest Eighth Street in front of a gas station Monday night when she was hit by a black car, police said.

But, according to witnesses, another car heading in the opposite direction — or an object — “may have initiated the accident,” police said Tuesday.

Sarmiento, 61, who according to Miami Herald news partner CBS4 lived a block away and was heading home, was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital. She later died from her injuries.

Police say Sarmiento was walking about 8:30 p.m. Monday in the area of Southwest 44th Avenue and Eighth Street — not far from Graceland Memorial Park North cemetery — when she was hit.

Family members told CBS4 that Sarmiento — who stopped at the Valero Gas Station, 4401 SW Eighth St. — was the “rock of the family.”

Kiara Delva, a spokeswoman for Miami police, said Tuesday that the driver of the black car stayed on scene, but detectives were still handling the incident as a “hit-and-run crash.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.