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Her life shattered by hit-run

Bronx Times

If the driver had at least stopped after nearly destroying her foot, that would have been okay.

But the person at the wheel of the car that rammed into 20-year-old Amanda Baez of Throgs Neck on Nov. 18 did not stop. Instead, they zoomed off down Throgs Neck Blvd., toward Lawton Avenue and into the night.

Police are now searching for the hit-and-run culprit, and with no leads, they are calling on the public for help.

Clipped then zipped

Baez was crossing the wide street on the way home from work, around 5:30 p.m. that Monday, when a black car roared down the boulevard from E. 177th Street and clipped her right foot, police said.

As the 20-year-old collapsed in a heap at the double yellow lines in the street’s center, the driver sped off.

“I tried to take another step but just couldn’t,” Baez said.

Forever with a limp

After alert neighbors came to her aid, Baez was transported to Jacobi Medical Center, where she underwent two surgeries.

The collision shattered every bone in her foot. Doctors had to insert two plates, four screws and two pins just to keep it together.

Baez will likely be able to walk in a few months, but doctors have informed her that for the rest of the life she’ll have a limp.

“She’ll never be able to wear heels again,” said her mother, Carmen Rodriguez.

Police were hopeful that camera footage from a house at the corner of E. 177th and Throggs Neck Blvd. could help them identity the driver. But a large, leafy tree obscured the footage.

All cops could make out were the brake lights, a police source said. Police don’t know the license plate number or even the car’s make and model.

Finding the culprit

Rodriguez, the victim’s mother, is convinced the culprit must be someone local. The driver was traveling toward a residential neighborhood and away from the Cross Bronx Expressway.

“If you’re making that turn you’re either from this area, or you’re visiting somebody,” Rodriguez said.

Baez has spent the last month mostly bed-ridden and unable to travel to and from her job as a customer service representative at Jeanstar on Southern Blvd.

She’s lived in Throgs Neck for seven years, and went to nearby Lehman High School.

“We’re just hoping that there’s someone out there who knows something about this,” she said.

Police urge anyone with information about the collision to call Detective Sharon Harvey at the 45th Precinct detective squad at 718 822-5411.

Ben Kochman can be reached via e-mail at BKochman@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742–3394

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