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Police arrest suspect in hit-and-run crash that badly injured child, grandmother

Posted at 9:10 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 22:10:25-04

Warning: This story includes images that some viewers may find graphic.

MILWAUKEE -- Police have arrested a suspect after a hit-and-run injured a grandmother and left a 7-year-old temporarily blinded.

A 42-year-old man has been taken into custody in connection with the incident, police said Wednesday night. Criminal charges will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office in the coming days.

Around 5:15 p.m. Sunday night, best friends Jenavi and Melissa were driving on 35th Street towards Forest Home Avenue when they observed smoke from a car crash.

"I pulled over, looked in the car and we’d seen there’s people in there. They were screaming and crying for help. We just got out of the car and went to help them," said Melissa.

"Melissa grabbed the kids and I immediately called 911," Jenavi recalled.

The women asked we only used their first names since the driver who caused the crash ran away and is still at large. Both felt compelled to help.

"We have to help these people because if this was our family if people were to just drive by I would want someone to help," said Jenavi.

"If it were my family or anyone that I know I would really want someone to have been there for them to hold them and comfort them in this crazy situation," said Melissa.

Priscilla Mares says she and her family will forever be grateful for the good samaritans.

Priscilla says her mother 70-year-old Mary Martinez and her two young nieces, a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old, were the victims of the hit-and-run crash. She said her mother went in for her second surgery Tuesday and possibly needing a third surgery.

Priscilla's younger niece is okay, but 7-year-old Kaelani, described as fun and outgoing, remains hospitalized and temporarily blind.

"It’s just been a really big toll on the family having to deal with my niece losing her vision," said Priscilla.

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