Pompano Beach teen struck by van and ‘left to die’

POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida mother made a heartfelt plea, Wednesday, after her 17-year-old son was struck by a van and left to die as he was walking to school.

Angel Garcia’s face is swollen, he has traumatic head injuries, crushed ribs and a crushed pelvis, according to his mother, after he was hit by a Ford Econoline van, at around 8 a.m., Monday. The incident happened as he walked towards Dixie Highway, along Southwest Eighth Street, in Pompano Beach.

Surveillance video captured the moment the van struck Garcia’s left leg and sent him flying in the air in broad daylight. It also captured the moments following the incident, where the driver walked over to see what he had done before deciding to flee the scene.

“You can see the victim being projected off of the roadway and into the swale,” explained Broward Sheriff’s Office Detective Michael Wiley. “The van then travels an estimated 30 or 40 feet farther down the road, where the driver actually stops in the middle of the roadway. He exits his vehicle, at which time he walks towards the rear of his vehicle, back to where the victim would have been lying back on the swale.”

According to detectives, the vehicle is an older model Ford Econoline van with front-side damage and possible damage to the hood, after it hit Garcia. Detectives said Garcia’s head could have hit the front side of the hood, causing a dent.

“His body would have bent over the top of the hood, and it is my belief that the head injuries came from when he struck either the corner of the hood or the hood itself,” he said.

The van is black and has a lighter color molding along the bottom.

Garcia’s mother pleaded for justice for her son, who has two jobs and is in high school.

“I don’t know why someone would do this to him and leave him in the street like an animal,” she said. “It’s not just. My heart is destroyed.”

She stood with his 12-year-old brother, Jose.

“Right now my family has been through a lot with my older brother, and the first time I saw him in the hospital I was just shocked,” Jose said.

Police hope someone who witnessed the incident or recognizes the vehicle comes forward with information. They have a piece of the van’s headlight.

Detectives are asking specifically for the drivers of two vehicles, a white Suburban and a silver sedan, who drove around the stopped van that day and may have seen the driver.

“Just turn yourself in,” Jose said. “Like, why do this to such a kid?”

His family does not have health insurance.

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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