A boy prays, a suspect surrenders
June 29, 2010 Leave a comment
by AMANDA CASANOVA | HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Oscar Almaguer prayed with his mom Friday at the funeral for his neighbor Maria Hernandez, who was sweeping the end of her north Houston driveway last week when someone ran her over.
“God, let the person who did this say ‘I’m sorry’ and tell them to come out,” the 5-year-old boy said.
The next day, the woman police say was driving the car that hit Hernandez surrendered.
Maria Guadalupe Reyes was arrested a day after her 33rd birthday.
She is charged with failure to stop and render aid after her Toyota minivan weaved onto the side of the street and struck Hernandez early on June 20 in the 400 block of Crosstimbers.
“You’re in a safe zone,” Oscar’s mother, Juana Almaguer, said. “You’re in your own yard and your own driveway. No one’s supposed to kill you while you’re there.”
Almaguer was the first to call 911 and said she cannot shake the image of the accident. Almaguer nodded to the house across the street, where a broom still rests against a window.
“She was a really nice woman, really talkative, respectful of others and funny,” she said. “She would go over next door and talk to the dogs and tease them. It’s been hard on us.”
Elizabeth Garza, Hernandez’s daughter, said her mother’s beauty shop was set up in the small house on Crosstimbers. She gave free haircuts on Thanksgiving Day to senior citizens and would pick them up for their appointments.
“My mom was taken too soon,” she said. “She wasn’t even a grandmother. She just wanted to help people, and that’s what she taught us to do.”
The speed limit in the neighborhood is 35 mph, but Almaguer said drivers rarely maintain that speed.
“No one respects the speed limit here,” she said. “They just don’t care.”
Reyes remained in the Harris County Jail on Monday evening. Failing to stop and render aid is a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Source: Houston Belief