PALM BAY, Fla – The Palm Bay Police Department is investigating a crash that killed two sisters, ages 58 and 61, and injured two others.
Police said that a white vehicle was turning into the Publix plaza at 4711 Babcock Street on Saturday night when it was struck by a black Mercedes traveling north on Babcock Street.
According to some witnesses, the black Mercedes and a dark blue Chrysler 300 were racing at the time of the collision, police said. However, investigators also said there have been conflicting accounts and they are checking surveillance video from the area to determine whether street racing was involved.
Witnesses said the Chrysler 300 left the scene dragging its front bumper and was last seen traveling north on Babcock Street from Palm Bay Road.
Palm Bay police released a surveillance image of that car. They believe the driver may know something about the crash.
“We’re just trying to figure out how far back they were driving At that excessive speed if any,” Lt. Jeff Spears with Palm Bay Police said.
The victims were identified Sunday by police as 61-year-old Noemi Hammen and 58-year-old Maria Ramirez, sisters from the Melbourne area.
Marcela Wilson still can’t believe her mom, Hammen and her aunt, Ramirez, will never come home.
“I think the hardest part is that It could have been prevented. It was reckless, it was selfish” Wilson said. “I’d give anything just for another day with her”
Ramon Villanueva was married to Hammen for 21 years.
“We’re just waiting for her to walk through the door, but we know that’s not going to happen,” Villanueva said.
Two people in the Mercedes suffered minor injuries, according to authorities. The driver is cooperating with police, according to investigators.
Officers are seeking information on the whereabouts of the dark blue Chrysler 300. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Palm Bay Police Department or Crimeline at 800-432-TIPS(8477).
In a separate case earlier this month, a family was heading home on U.S. Highway 192 earlier when an 11-year-old girl was killed when two cars were racing in Orange County and someone crashed into them.
Lt. Kim Montes with the Florida Highway Patrol says troopers have been trying to crack down more on street racing, patrolling overnight, and even using auxiliary troopers to cover more ground.
“Troopers were noticing the uptick in the number of street racers they were hearing about, so they were basically trying to shut these events down,” Montes said. “Got to shut them down before anyone could get hurt. We have written hundreds of tickets for the 1 1/2 years for drivers illegally modifying their vehicles for street racing.”
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