Father, 2 daughters injured in Fort Lauderdale hit and run; driver at large

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A father and his two children were rushed to the hospital after a driver struck them and fled the scene in Fort Lauderdale.

The children’s mother, Claudia Martinez, told 7News that she feels helpless as she watches her family recover a day after the hit-and-run, Thursday.

Police said the family was crossing the street when a white BMW struck them.

“We were all hit. It came really fast and hit me right here on the leg,” Martinez said as she showed 7News her cuts.

Fort Lauderdale Police and fire rescue responded to the scene along Las Olas Boulevard and A1A, around 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“The car came from the left-hand side really fast and hit the other car beside it and then came towards us,” Martinez said. “Just hit my family and me.”

Police transported a father and his two children to Broward Health Medical Center. The children were said to be 4 and 5 years old.

“I felt hopeless ’cause my children were there. All I could do was think about them, and I can’t imagine being without them,” said Martinez. “Just the man coming and leaving, not having the heart to stop.”

The family had been visiting from Georgia.

Witnesses said the driver took off, going west on Las Olas Boulevard and turning the wrong way onto a one-way street, hitting a car and the front of a city bus.

“We heard a little screech and the car went up on the sidewalk,” said witness David Cocklin.

“The kids popped up in the air and landed. The father put his hand on the hood of the car, and the guy backed up and took off down the street,” said another witness, Bill Griswold.

According to officials, the driver eventually fled on foot.

“I think this is ridiculous,” said Griswold. “If you do something wrong, stick around and own up to it.”

Martinez’s children have taken X-rays and undergone other tests.

Martinez had a message for the driver responsible. “There’s a God up there, and he’s gonna take care of you,” she said.

The father and both children have since been released from the hospital. The family was already on their way home to Georgia, Thursday.

If you have any information on this hit and run, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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