7News viewer gives car to Pompano Beach hit-and-run victim

POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A man was driven to help a woman who survived a devastating hit-and-run accident in Pompano Beach by giving her his own car.

The act of kindness comes three months after Collette Nichols was run over while riding her bicycle near Southwest 26th Avenue and Third Street. She suffered a fractured neck and skull.

Nichols’ luck, however, has turned of late. Last week, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Victim Assistance Program paid for her medical bills and gave her a new bike.

On Tuesday, she was given something even better, thanks to 7News viewer Daniel Rosario.

Rosario said he saw the story on Nichols and was touched. He decided to play Santa Claus and upgrade that new bicycle to a car.

“I’m blessed today, so I’m able to do something nice like this,” said Rosario. “It makes me feel good, you know? Generosity.”

Rosario had a Ford Crown Victoria for years but did not use it anymore, so he decided to give it to her. “It’s the best thing,” said Nichols. “It’s the best Christmas surprise that I could possibly think of.”

Rosario said Nichols’ attitude after the September accident led him to want to help her. “She gave kind words to the [driver], pretty much forgave him,” he said. “I don’t know. I just felt I wanted to do something for her. They gave her a bike, and I wanted to give her a car.”

Representatives from BSO’s Victim Assistance Program were at the meeting as well, happy their work could inspire others to help. “When someone’s heart is touched, and they can give only because they’ve been blessed, they find it that they want to bless someone else, it feels good,” said Rosemary Evans Baker with the program. “That the people we’re working so hard to assist, they’re the recipients of it, it feels good.”

Now Nichols’ neck brace is off and she can get back to work, and with her new car, she won’t have any trouble getting there. “Having the Crown Vic, brand-new addition to the family, and Mr. Daniel being an extended part of that family unit, so that in itself, a complete stranger, you just can’t beat that,” she said.

Now that she has a car, Nichols also plans to return to school and finish up her education.

The driver who hit her back in September still has not been caught. If you have any information on their whereabouts, 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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