A Cape Coral woman has been arrested on felony charges following an alleged hit-and-run accident in Miramar recently in which a pregnant mother was critically injured and her two young children suffered minor injuries.
The suspect, 39-year-old Jessica Yevette Crane, was being held on $40,000 bond at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office on charges of failure to remain at the scene of an accident with serious injuries.
Witnesses reportedly swung into action in the moments after the crash, in which Crane allegedly jumped a curb and struck the woman and her two children as they waited at a bus stop. A 911 caller told the dispatcher the make, model and tag number of the vehicle. When Crane began driving away, The Sun-Sentinel reported, several witnesses began following her and forced her off the road. When she stopped a few blocks away, one witness approached her car, reached in the vehicle, turned off the ignition and took her keys.
When police arrived, a witness was sitting on top of her as she lay on the ground. Crane reportedly began spewing expletives, characterizing the alleged victims as “(expletive) Cubans” and accusing them of trying to get free money and a ride to the hospital. She told police she did not hit them, but instead they hit her. She said the victims were flat-out lying.
However, our Broward hit-and-run defense lawyers know her credibility in court is going to be challenged by several factors, including:
- The victim was actually Jamaican, not Cuban;
- The crash occurred at a bus stop located on the sidewalk, not on a street or other area where a motor vehicle should have been;
- Witness accounts of the accident and the events leading to it conflict with her statement.
This is serious, not only because the adult female victim was fighting for her life, but also because the charges of which Crane is accused are felonies.
F.S. 316.027 requires drivers involved in a crash on public or private property in which a person suffers serious bodily injury to immediately stop at the scene and remain there until they have fulfilled the requirements of F.S. 316.062 (duty to render aid). A willful violation of this statute is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
If the accident results in a death (including the death of an unborn child), then the charge becomes a first-degree felony, which carries a minimum mandatory sentence of four years, or a maximum of 30 years.
Crane later lamented from the jail that she, “Should have stayed where I was at.”
Witnesses told investigators that Crane was traveling on South University Drive at a high rate of speed, changing lanes unlawfully and then drove onto a sidewalk before striking the mother and her two children, ages 5 and 3. One woman said Crane sideswiped her Ford F-150 just before the crash.
It is unclear at this time whether Crane is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Undoubtedly, toxicology tests were performed, but the results of those could take weeks to return. That could result in additional charges of driving under the influence.
A case like this where so much is at stake requires a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience.
Call Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Woman accused in Miramar hit-and-run that hurt family curses the injured, witnesses, police say, May 9, 2016, By Linda Trischitta, Sun-Sentinel
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