LEWISVILLE (CBS 11 NEWS) – She was on her way back from giving a friend a ride home from work. That’s when a car crashed into her and then left her for dead. Cleotilde Benitez, 42, died early Wednesday morning after the hit-and-run collision on northbound Interstate-35, near the George Bush Turnpike exit.READ MORE: A Closer Look At 4 Drugs Used To Treat COVID-19; What Really Works?
Investigators say the suspect, 43-year-old Gregory LaMaster tried to exit but crossed multiple lanes to get over to the right. That’s when police say he crashed his SUV into Benitez, then took off leaving a three-vehicle pileup behind.
“I didn’t get to say goodbye to her. Nobody got a chance to say goodbye to her. She never made it home,” Benitez’s daughter Maritza Carlos said.
She says her mom was on her way back from dropping off a friend who needed a ride home from work. Carlos says it was always like her to help a friend in need.
“A very loving, caring, and very helpful human being. That’s who she was,” Carlos said.READ MORE: Border Patrol Agents Find Migrants Using Storm Drain To Enter Texas Illegally
But police say LaMaster was no help after causing the crash and leaving the scene. Investigators used a license plate found at the crash site to track him down and arrest him.
“I just want to ask him, was it really worth it? Could he not miss the exit? My mom was only 42-years-old. Her birthday was going to be the 27th of this month. She was going to turn 43,” Carlos said.
Benitez leaves behind a husband and seven children. Carlos translated for her father, who says LaMaster should answer for the crime.
“It’s not fair because it’s seven of us and him, and he took that from us, and I don’t see why he should be given back his freedom when my mom’s life was taken away. It’s not fair,” Carlos said, paraphrasing her father, Gabriel Carlos.
LaMaster is charged with felony failure to stop and render aid resulting in death. If convicted he faces two to 20 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.MORE NEWS: Texas Doctor Dr. Alan Braid Sued After Defying State's Abortion Ban
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