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'So many plans for their lives': Victim identified in fatal south side hit-and-run crash

The driver died, and her son was hospitalized
Posted at 10:07 PM, Feb 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-06 00:20:15-05

The mother killed in a terrifying crash on Milwaukee’s south side Sunday has been identified. 

The victim is Monica Hernandez, 44. Hernandez and her son were on their way home from mass at St. Hyacinth on Sunday, when the crash happened. 

Police say the driver of a pick-up truck could have been going more than 70 miles an hour during a snowstorm before he lost control and crashed into a car in the opposite lane. It happened near West Lincoln Avenue and South 15th Place. 

"She loved him so much," said a niece of Hernandez, who did not want to give her name. "He was her only child. She had so many plans for their lives. We are still in shock. We can't believe she is no longer with us."

People eating lunch at La Canoa Restaurant on West Lincoln saw the crash, and ran out to help. They even found Monica's phone in the wreckage and began calling family.

"She kept asking about her son," said Nattalie Lopez, who works at La Canoa. "Her main concern was that he was okay. We told her he was fine and tried to comfort her. She was in so much pain."

"We opened the passenger side door and told her son to get out of the car," Lopez also said. "But he was just staring at his mom. I feel like he couldn't realize what had just happened, you know? I didn't want him to see his mom like that, so I suggested that we go into the restaurant so I could get him some water and wipe away some blood on his hands. He said no, that he just wanted to be with his mom."

The group of young adults in the pick-up truck saw what they caused, and took off running. Police are still looking for the men involved. The woman passenger shown in surveillance video turned herself in.

A funeral for Hernandez will be held on Wednesday. They've set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for her funeral expenses.