SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) – Authorities are looking for a driver who fled after hitting and killing a pregnant woman while she was crossing a street in San Bernardino late Wednesday night.
The victim, believed to be in her 20s, was struck in a crosswalk at the intersection of Highland Avenue and Medical Center Drive a little after 11:30 p.m., according to San Bernardino police.
A witness, who did not want to be identified, told CBS2 she heard a crash and a gut-wrenching scream. She ran to the victim, but found her dead.
“She was already laying lifeless on the ground, there wasn’t nothing no one could do for her,” said the witness.
Officers responded to find the woman dead at the scene. The woman’s sister told CBS2 that Maribel Gonzalez, 39, was about two weeks away from giving birth to a baby girl.
The girl was also killed in the accident.
The victim’s sister said her sibling was out selling clothing to get money for food for her and the baby.
“It’s my sister,” says Erika Lopez, “so I would like it not to be true. but I have to deal with the fact that it’s true.”
Gonzalez was Lopez’ older sister. She said they were best friends.
Gonzalez was the mother of nine. She was homeless and no longer had custody of her children.
“The only one that can take the life of a fetus would be a doctor,” San Bernardino Sgt. Jeff Harvey told CBS2. “So, in this case, we have a woman carrying a child, and both of them were killed, so we have two victims.”
Police provided CBS2 with surveillance video of the collision from a nearby store, which shows that Gonzalez had almost made it across the street when she was hit.
The suspect vehicle, a black Dodge Charger, was found abandoned a short distance away. Police said after hitting the pedestrian, the car veered away, struck a fence and then caught fire.
Witnesses told officers the suspect driver, a woman, exited the car and was picked up by a second vehicle, which fled.
Thursday evening, the victim’s mother — Maria Silva — came to the scene of the tragedy. She wanted to see the surveillance video.
Even after seeing the video, she has trouble coming to grips with that happened.
“I still, I don’t believe it,” Silva said.
“I see my daughter just coming by the light,” Silva told KCAL9’s Tina Patel, “and then I see the car and she tried to [get out of the way] but she did not make it.”
Silva spoke to her daughter hours before the crash. She said she had picked out a name for the baby.
The baby’s father, Victor Lopez, says he’s still in shock.
“I lost everything,” he says, “my kid and her, it’s even worse.”
Investigators are now trying to find the owner of the Charger. Anyone with information on the case should call police.