Hit-and-run victim’s brother urges driver to come forward

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida man is making a painful plea after, police said, his brother was struck by a hit-and-run driver.

Henry Rosales is begging for answers as to who could have hit his 20-year-old brother, Gabriel Cortes, and then leave him in the street to die.

“All we want is answers,” said Rosales. “At this point, we want our boy to wake up and go home and be with us.”

Cortes is now in a coma after, police said, an SUV hit him while he was riding his motorcycle on Southwest 222nd Street near 119th Avenue, just after 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

The impact of the collision was so great that a piece of the SUV was left behind at the scene, but detectives said the driver took off.

“It’s sad, that they just left him there! I don’t understand,” said Rosales.

Rosales spoke exclusively with 7News outside of Jackson South Community Hospital, Friday, while his brother continues to fight for his life.

“It could have been a little accident. You didn’t have to just leave him there and take off,” Rosales said. “Think about it, if it was one of your family members.”

Gabriel Cortes

The victim suffered severe head trauma, bleeding in his brain, cuts all over his body, and the bones around his right eye socket were broken. “We were told that he’s going to be needing a plate with screws on the cheekbone,” Rosales said.

His family also said they are in pain as they wait to see if their loved one will wake up.

According to family, Cortes recently finished studying at Miami Dade College and was planning to go to Florida International University, but now they don’t know if he’ll make it out of the hospital.

“All we do is just sit and wait at his bedside, hoping that in the next couple of minutes, soon, that he wakes up, that he sees us, that he opens his eyes and looks at us and tells us that he’s fine,” Rosales said.

Meanwhile, police continue to search for the driver who. Investigators said they are looking for a silver Chevy Equinox with visible front-end damage.

The victim’s family have one message for the person who was driving. “Just to leave him there, his lifeless body on the floor, I’m sorry, all we feel is hate,” said Rosales. “Take responsibility. You almost took a life of someone. We don’t know; you might be taking a life of someone. We don’t know if he’s going to stay in that coma or whatever.”

If you have any information on this hit-and-run, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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