Midtown

Miami police searching for SUV driver who slammed into woman and took off

Yvette Annette Wilson Hughes was attempting to cross Northwest 79th Street at Second Court on Feb. 10, 2015, when she was struck by two vehicles. She is shown here with her husband David Nelson Jr.
Yvette Annette Wilson Hughes was attempting to cross Northwest 79th Street at Second Court on Feb. 10, 2015, when she was struck by two vehicles. She is shown here with her husband David Nelson Jr. El Nuevo Herald

David Nelson had just made his way across busy Northwest 79th Street Tuesday night when he heard a loud scream.

“I turned around and looked back and a car was dragging my wife,” said Nelson of his wife, Yvette Annette Wilson Hughes, 58.

He soon learned his wife was first hit by another car — later described by police as a silver Hyundai SUV, and the driver took off.

On Thursday, Nelson left Ryder Trauma Center — where his wife is in critical condition — to join Miami detectives and beg the driver to turn himself in.

“Why he left the scene I don’t know,” he said. “What I do know is my wife is in a lot of pain now. I ask anyone out there who might know anything about that truck that hit her to come forward.”

Nelson and Hughes had gotten off a Miami-Dade bus at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday night after a doctor’s visit and were trying to make their way home. Nelson crossed the street — midblock — first.

Det. Joseph Kennedy said Hughes made several attempts before trying to weave her way through cars. Hughes then got “caught up” in the SUV that was heading eastbound on Northwest 79th Street, Kennedy said, and went airborne. She landed in the center lane and was then hit by a tan Chevrolet Malibu, which dragged her about 5 to 10 feet.

The entire “horrific crash,” was captured on surveillance video from a nearby business, Kennedy said.

“You see everything clear as day,” he said. “This was a nighttime crash, but it looks like it was in the daytime. It was that clear.”

The driver of the Malibu stayed on the scene and a doctor stopped to help. She told detectives the driver of the SUV, a black male wearing glasses with gray hair, sat in the car for about a minute and half and was staring forward.

“He never got out of the car,” Kennedy said. “He just suddenly gassed it and went eastbound.”

Kennedy said if the driver of the SUV would have stayed on the scene he likely would have avoided charges.

“Why someone would leave someone out in the street injured like that I can’t fathom,” he said. “If this person would have remained at the scene they’re not at fault of the crash. She was wearing a black dress, crossing mid-block not at the crosswalk, where she should have been.”

She was taken to Ryder Trauma Center; Nelson said his wife has a ruptured lung, fractures in her face and pelvis and is not talking.

“I just thank God she is still here,” he said, describing the woman he married four years ago as “joyful, happy all the time,” and a “virtuous woman of God.”

“She is going through a lot of pain and stuff right now,” he said. “But I know through God, grace and mercy she’s going to make it.”

Police are looking for the driver of a silver four-door older model Hyundai SUV with a spare tire in the back. There is front end damage on the right side and there may be windshield damage as well.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami Police Department’s Traffic Homicide Unit at 305-603-6525 or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

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