Hit-and-run victim's family, survivor speak out

FHP searches for driver after DeLand crash

DeLAND, Fla. - Florida Highway Patrol troopers are looking for a driver after two teenagers were struck Saturday along Spring Garden Road in DeLand.

Troopers said the crash happened around 9:30 p.m. when the 14-year-olds were walking along the side of the road.

Troopers said a vehicle struck 14-year-old Juliana Hobbs and 14-year-old Rachel Russell as they were walking. 

"I ran over, I was holding her and I was trying to get her to wake up," Russell said. "I didn't know what to do I was just scared and wanted my best friend to be OK."

Hobbs was airlifted to Halifax Medical Center where she died from her injuries, troopers said.

"The impact took her immediately," said Hobbs' sister Courtney Myers. "She wasn't in pain, she wasn't in any pain."

Russell suffered only minor injuries. She said she noticed the car turn around, speed toward the two girls and hitting them at about 60 miles per hour.

"She's an angel watching over us right now and we will see her again," said Hobbs' mother, Kathy. "I just miss her."

Kathy Hobbs says she can't come to terms with the accident.

"You never think you will be burying your child, you think they will bury you," Kathy Hobbs said. "And I don't know how to deal with it."

Troopers said a 49-year-old woman called them Monday morning saying she was the owner of the car suspected to be involved in the case. She told troopers where to find the car, a 2004 green four-door Toyota. Troopers said they found the car with damage to the front end and windshield and they are gathering evidence from the car.

"I want them to suffer because how I am suffering and Juliana's family is suffering," Russell said.

Authorities haven't released her name as of Monday but they said she is considered a person of interest. There hasn't been a confession, troopers said.

"It's murder, nothing else," Hodges said. "They took the life of my little sister carelessly. We just want justice for Juliana and her to know we can be somewhat at peace to know that person can't hurt anybody else."

Troopers urge anyone with information to call 800-423-TIPS.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

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