FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have found a critical clue as they search for a driver who, they said, struck and critically injured a woman in a busy part of Fort Lauderdale Beach before fleeing the scene.
Fort Lauderdale Police officers on Sunday passed out flyers along the stretch of A1A on Fort Lauderdale Beach near where, they said, 39-year-old Lynn Hessley was struck while crossing the street, July 3.
“On the evening of July 3rd, just shortly before 11 p.m., we have a pedestrian who was crossing the street. When she crossed the street, she was struck by a white Mustang. Up until now, we did not have that information,” said an FLPD Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw.
Greenlaw also noted that the driver may be local. “This vehicle has been caught on several of our tag readers in the area, we know that they frequent the area,” she said.
“Her 40th birthday is July the 17th. She’s supposed to be in Disney this weekend, and she’s in the hospital fighting for her life because of something that somebody did. They just have to come forward,” said Jennifer Hessley, the victim’s sister.
Because of COVID-19, Hessley can’t be visited in the hospital. “We can’t hold her hand, we can’t talk to her, we can’t let her know that we’re there. She’s fighting for her life; she’s on life support. She’s been cleared for some of the reconstructive surgeries that will be needed to help her recover, and we’re not accepting or believing in anything less than a complete recovery,” her sister said.
On Saturday, police released grainy surveillance video showing the Mustang hitting Lynn while she was crossing A1A near the Westin Hotel.
Thanks to a tip after the story aired on 7News, investigators said, they were able to determine that the car that hit Lynn was a white 2006 Ford Mustang with the Florida tag JRFQ02 and distinctive bumper stickers.
Police also tweeted out a picture of the Mustang.
Speaking with 7News on Friday, Jennifer described her sister as full of life.
“Lynn loves life. Her goal in life is to enjoy it,” she said. “There isn’t anyone that ever met her that doesn’t get her zest for life.”
Lynn remains at an area hospital in critical condition.
“It’s nothing but worry and fear and uncertainty,” said Jennifer.
Jennifer said her sister sent her a picture she took just before the crash.
“She took a picture, sent it to us, wished us a happy Fourth of July from A1A and the beach,” she said. “We had dinner the Sunday before. I talked to her on Tuesday. Next thing you know, you get a phone call, and everything is changed. Everything’s gone upside down.”
“Lynn is just a bubble of light. She’s real, and she’s honest, and this should have never happened,” said Donna Cappello, a friend of the victim. “The fact that they did just leave her there is just a nightmare.”
“Lynn has such a long road ahead of her, and to know that the person that did this and left her has been caught and will serve justice, I think that’s going to be vitally important,” said Jennifer.
Now police are asking for the public’s help in finding the driver responsible.
“We are confident that someone in the public saw this incident, or they know who is driving this vehicle,” said Greenlaw. “We are asking them to come forward. We need information.”
If you have any information on this hit-and-run or the driver’s whereabouts, call Fort Lauderdale Police at 954-828-5400 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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