San Antonio – A neighbor who tried to pull a family from a burning van after it was involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash is asking the people who caused the collision to turn themselves in.
Linda Garcia said she and her family were outside of their home on West Poplar Street watching fireworks when the crash happened.
“It was like around midnight,” Garcia said. “We see a white truck whip out on Northwest 27th Street and Poplar. He is going eastbound pretty fast. He was already hitting like 90, next thing you know, my brother is yelling ‘Hey! Stop!’ He was chasing them down the street.”
She said the scene was traumatizing.
“It caused the van to spin one time and finally it just exploded with fire,” Garcia said. “I ran to the van and just stayed because I was trying to help get them out.”
San Antonio police said the van was backing out of a driveway when the truck, traveling 100-120 mph, hit the van. Investigators said a man, 31, was killed on impact, and a 14-year-old girl was ejected from the vehicle.
“The people who did this didn’t have a heart,” Garcia said. “No heart. Their hearts were cold because they didn’t even look back to see if they were ok. They just took off.”
A 5-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl were also in the burning vehicle. Both were taken to University Hospital with second-degree burns after a family member from the home rescued them.
“The family is going through it rough,” Garcia said. “It was a miracle for at least the daughter to bring out the baby also from the vehicle while it was on fire.”
Garcia said speeding along Poplar Street is a major issue for those living there.
“Just not so long ago, there was a car that flipped in an accident,” Garcia said. “This street is known for accidents. We need speedbumps. We need more stop signs."
"People take this street like it is a racing track. They are always racing.”
Police said heer momentum caused the truck the suspects were driving to crash into a fence and utility poles. When it finally came to a stop, the two men got out and ran off.
“They should have turned back,” Garcia said. “At least stayed there with the family and said sorry or something.”
Since the crash, Garcia said she and the community have prayed constantly. They even set up a memorial in front of the home where the collision happened.
Police are asking anyone with any information that could help lead to an arrest to contact authorities immediately.