A 19-year-old Orlando man was behind bars Tuesday after a hit-and-run crash that sent a 14-year-old girl to the hospital with critical injuries, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Travis Rhys Johnson was already wanted on charges of fleeing and alluding a trooper while riding a motorcycle with a stolen license plate, investigators said.
According to information from FHP, Johnson was driving north on Dean Road near Burl Way at about 4:30 p.m., when he lost control of the Ford pickup truck he was driving.
The truck swerved into the southbound lanes and onto the sidewalk, hitting Jacelyn Diehl, troopers said.
Jaxson Wells, 15, who was walking with her, was grazed by the truck, investigators said.
Johnson fled from the scene on foot and was later found hiding in a lake by an Orange County K-9, FHP said.
Wells told Channel 9 that he had to jump out of the way when the truck came barreling toward him and Diehl.
“You’re like, ‘I’m not going to make it if I don’t do something,’ and you see your life kind of flash before your eyes,” he said.
Wells called 911 and then his mother, Viva Desensi, who couldn’t believe what happened.
“You never expect anything like that,” she said. “It’s just a regular day. They’re walking home from school and the guy comes and hits them.”
Worse, the driver ran from the scene while Diehl day on the ground seriously injured, Desensi said.
“To see a child bleeding on the ground and know that you did that, and you leave?” she asked. “I don’t get the mentality. I don’t understand it.
“I don’t care if I was drunk or anything, I would be there with that child because it’s just inhuman.”
Johnson was charged with leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury.
Diehl remained in serious condition at Arnold Palmer Hospital.