Camden hit-and-run victim talks to Action News

CAMDEN, N.J. - November 10, 2012

64 year old Carmen Ortiz of Camden is bandaged and bruised but thankful to be alive.

"She feels like she was born again today," said Carmen's nephew Sam.

Around 7:00 p.m. Saturday morning, Ortiz can be seen on a nearby surveillance camera crossing Westfield Avenue at 36th Street when she gets pummeled by a truck, tossed like a rag doll, and left in the dust.

"I refuse to watch the tape. My whole family watched it and I haven't watched it," said the victim's daughter Brenda Robinson.

Brenda Robinson can't bear the thought of seeing her elderly mother knocked to the ground by a light-colored pickup truck, which slowed down but then drove off.

"That's what hurts the most," said Brenda. "You see a person injured on the ground and you're not moved to help."

Ortiz's family feels blessed that their loved one's life was spared.

Carmen has a broken wrist and a spinal injury but she is expected to be okay. Her family says it doesn't matter why the hit and run driver drove off.

She was crossing 36th Street at Westfield Avenue to pick up groceries. The victim's nephew says it is clear that the driver knew what he did but chose to keep going.

"He hit her, stopped, looked and then kept going, which means you had to decide to stop a face consequences, but you decided to go," said Sam Cruz.

Ortiz tells us she thinks the driver of the light-colored pickup may have been preoccupied when he whipped around 36th Street and clipped her.

"She looked back and thought it seemed like he was distracted on either a handheld or something," said Carmen through an interpreter.

The driver continued heading northeast on Westfield as witnesses slowly surrounded the elderly woman as she lay injured in the street.

An ambulance arrived and transported her to Cooper Hospital where she was treated and released.

Ortiz is relieved to be at home surrounded by her loved ones. Her family wants the reckless driver caught.

"Of course we'd like to see justice. We're thankful for the outcome, but imagine if he would have killed her. Then what?" said Sam.

Camden Police are investigating the accident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Camden Police.

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