Feb 4, 2011 11:09 PM by Matt Stafford

Family of Pueblo hit and run victim want justice

A hit and run in Pueblo Thursday night left a 25-year old woman critically hurt. Pueblo Police and Crime Stoppers are trying to find the driver who left the scene.

It was about 5:30 p.m. when a Jeep Liberty lost control and spun around on I-25 near Abriendo Ave. in the northbound lanes. The next car, driven by 25-year old Natasha Santos, hit the turned around Jeep. When Santos got out to check on the other driver a third car hit them both; pinning Santos between her car and the Jeep. The driver of the third car left the scene.

Santos was left with some pretty serious injuries. Her father says traffic was pretty heavy around the time of the accident and he's hoping someone saw something that can lead them to whoever injured his daughter and left her to die.

"That's no way to see your daughter," says Billy Dobrinski, Santos' father, as he looks at a picture of his daughter in the hospital. Unfortunately, after Thursday's accident, it's a reality for Dobrinski.

Santos called Dobrinski after she hit the first car, then he listened to the rest.

"Just as we answered the phone we could hear the other car that hit her car and smashed her between the two cars and we could hear the screaming," Dobrinski describes.

Santos is in the trauma care unit at Parkview Medical Center with long list of broken bones in her hips and legs, as well as internal bleeding.

Raeann Gallegos was driving the first car -- the Jeep Liberty -- and she's still shaken today. She was getting out too when the other car hit them both.

"I was getting out and as soon as I was opening the door I felt the slam," Raeann Gallegos, driver of the Jeep Liberty. "As soon as we looked up, they weren't there." The driver of the third car was gone, without checking to make sure either of them was okay.

A man stopped on the side of the road to help. Santos' father says he thinks the man's name was John but doesn't know more than that. He wants to thank him for helping his daughter.

Santos was lucky the man, who had medical training, stopped; because Santos was in desperate need.

"We heard her crying so we went to the front and she was on the floor," says Gallegos. "She said she couldn't feel from her waist down."

Santos isn't paralyzed, but doctors tell her family it may be six to eight weeks before she can move again; and a long road of recovery after that.

For Dobrinski, he may never recover emotionally; he can't get over the fact that the third car left without checking on anyone. He wants them to own up to their mistake and come forward.

"You left my daughter on the side of the highway to die," says Dobrinski. "What kind of an individual does that?"

Crime Stoppers and Pueblo Police are looking for the person responsible. If you have any information you can call it in anonymously. The number is 542-STOP (7867).



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