The daughter of a woman killed in a hit-and-run accident in Oakland Park last week described her death as “one of the most traumatic experiences in my life.”
Ariana Cotto, the daughter of the late Nancy Vazquez, spoke through tears at a press conference hosted by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Friday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale.
Vazquez, 59, was walking diagonally across North Andrews Avenue the evening of Jan. 14 when a driver hit her in the far left lane. The driver continued traveling northbound and did not stop after the collision. Based on a fog lamp cover and headlight debris left behind at the scene, BSO detectives were able to determine it was a 2013-2015 black four-door Honda Accord EX.
The Oakland Park resident was taken to Broward Health Medical Center and pronounced dead at 11:37 p.m. Police have released a surveillance video of the accident.
“She was my everything. She was my mom, my best friend, my confidante,” Cotto said of Vazquez. “She was a single mom and an amazing one at that. She did her best to provide me with everything I needed to succeed in life.”
A photo of the late Nancy Vazquez as well as debris left behind from the vehicle that killed her in a hit-and-run in Oakland Park on Jan. 14. Photo by Christiana Lilly.
Cotto is currently attending school in Connecticut, and she said her best memories with her mother included singing in the car and at their church in Brooksville, Florida. One of the last conversations she had with her mother was figuring out a way she could visit her at school.
Cotto urged the driver to contact law enforcement.
“Just own up to your actions, even if it was a mistake,” she said.
BSO Traffic Homicide Det. Sherry Slagle-Grant told the media that the vehicle would have damage to the passenger side of the car, and that had the driver stopped and called police, they probably would have been able to go home that night after providing a statement.
“Although the crash was not the fault of the driver — the pedestrian did walk in the roadway where the driver would not expect to find a pedestrian — however the driver did flee the scene,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact BSO Traffic Homicide Det. Sherry Slagle-Grant at 954-321-4843. If you’d like to remain anonymous, contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online at browardcrimestoppers.org.