Pregnant Mother of 8, Her Unborn Child Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash in San Bernardino; Driver Sought: Police

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A pregnant woman died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver as she tried to cross a San Bernardino street late Wednesday night, and her baby did not survive, authorities said.

Maribel Gonzalez is seen in a photo provided to KTLA by her mother.
Maribel Gonzalez is seen in a photo provided to KTLA by her mother.

The deadly crash occurred shortly before 11:30 p.m. on West Highland Avenue near Medical Center Drive, according to a San Bernardino Police Department news release.

The victim was walking southbound across Highland Avenue in a marked crosswalk when she was struck by a vehicle traveling westbound, apparently at a high rate of speed, the release stated.

Surveillance video of the incident showed the woman walking with the traffic light when the car drove through the intersection and hit her. She was just a few feet away from the curb at the time of impact.

The force of the collision sent the victim about 150 feet down the street, and police said she died at the scene.

The San Bernardino County coroner’s office hasn’t released her name yet, but the victim’s mother identified her as Maribel Gonzalez, age 39 or 40. The coroner’s office described the victim as being 39 years old.

Maria Silva told KTLA her daughter had been staying in an apartment not far from the crash site with her boyfriend. She may have been headed across the street to the market to pick something up when she was fatally struck.

“I don’t believe this. It’s not me, it’s not my daughter,” Silva said in disbelief. “It’s somebody else, not me.”

She said she had spoken to her daughter over the phone just three hours before.

Gonzalez was a mother of eight and 9 months along in her pregnancy; her baby — a boy — was due this month, Silva said.

The unborn child was also pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The driver, meanwhile, failed to stop and render aid to the dying pregnant woman, investigators said. Instead, the vehicle continued down the street until the driver apparently lost control of it.

The car came to a stop against a nearby fence and burst into flames.

Witnesses said the driver, who they described as a woman, made it out of the vehicle and was picked up and driven away from the scene.

“The suspect actually hit the victim and a short time later stopped, got out of the car, did not check on the pedestrian and ended up calling someone they knew and fled the scene,” said Eileen Hards, a public information officer for the San Bernardino Police Department.

Police have confirmed the car’s registered owner is female, but they do not know if she was the one behind the wheel. Initial attempts by law enforcement to locate the registered owner at her home were unsuccessful, though one police official said knowing who the car is registered to gives investigators a “great starting point.”

Authorities have elected not to release a description of the suspect’s vehicle, saying to do so at this point might compromise the integrity of the investigation.

Anyone with information is urged to call Sgt. Jeff Harvey at 909-388-4912 or Detective Devin Peck at 909-384-5664.

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