GARLAND (CBS11) – Garland Police are searching for a hit-and-run driver that struck 18-year-old Natalia Estrada, as she crossed the street in front of Garland High School and a witness is sharing with CBS11 what he saw.
Stephen Cifuentes said if his mother hadn’t spotted the young woman crossing the street in front of the school, they likely would have kept driving.
“My mom was like, ‘That truck just hit the girl,’ and she started crying,” said Cifuentes.
It was around six o’clock Monday morning. Estrada had arrived early to meet friends before class. Now, she was lying in the street.
“The truck was backing up and I saw a person just laying there on the floor. It didn’t even look like a person to be honest. It just looked something black, like a bag,” said Cifuentes.
Cifuentes said he could still see the pedestrian warning light flashing, suggesting Estrada was in the crosswalk when she was hit.
The impact threw her several yards.
Cifuentes said he watched the driver of the silver pickup responsible drive away.
“He didn’t pause to look. He just put it in reverse and left. He just… That’s no heart. That’s a guy with no heart,” said Cifuentes.
Cifuentes said after calling 911, his instinct was to chase the truck.
Instead, he and his mother stopped and walked into the street to shield Estrada from any passing cars, until an ambulance arrived.
“I got shaky, like nervous, ‘cause you don’t see that every day,” recalled Cifuentes.
Estrada’s family said she broke half a dozen bones, injured internal organs and even cut an artery. But she’s improving.
“This is a miracle. For her to have this much damage and to come out of this like this, it’s a miracle,” said Brandy Valdes, Estrada’s aunt and guardian.
Cifuentes knows a few more minutes delay in getting help could have cost Estrada her life.
“God put us in the spot to help her out,” he said.
(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)