The Redlands Police Department is asking for the public’s help to identify the driver of a big rig who caused a multi-car crash that left a couple from Palm Springs hurt. It happened on August 14 at 9:45 in the morning on Mountain View Avenue near the 10 Freeway in Redlands. Police say the driver didn’t even bother to stop.
The accident still haunts Erika Zarate, a passenger in the white car that was hit, "Sorry," she says through tears, "I just feel so angry that somebody could just hit and run and didn’t even look back if we were okay or if he killed someone."
The big rig clipped a red car, sending careening into oncoming traffic, it hit the car Zarate was in so hard, it sent it flying through the air, and ripped a tree out of the ground.
Zarate says it felt like it happened in slow motion, "I remember saying, I’m going to die.’"
Her boyfriend Mike Flannery, was driving, for a moment he thought the worst, "She was knocked out and she had blood coming out of her mouth and so that was a pretty traumatic moment for me because I was certain that she had died."
Zarate suffered a concussion, a broken foot and both live with physical pain they say was caused by the impact. What they didn’t expect was the emotional trauma. Still, when they see the impact and the aftermath, they can’t help but feel lucky.
"We just don’t want to be apart very much because I just feel blessed that she’s alive," says Flannery with a big smile.
Zarate says she hopes he’s brought to justice before he hurts someone else.
If you recognize the big rig or have information about the driver, you’re urged to call the Redlands Police Department (909) 798-7681.