Driver Arrested In Tulsa Hit And Run Accident

Wednesday, May 6th 2009, 10:39 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Scott Thompson, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa woman is in the custody of immigration officials after police say her SUV hit a six-year old boy.  The driver was found only after a witness followed her home.

Six-year old Johan Fernandez was at his church on Wednesday night, playing outside, when he was struck by the SUV.

On Thursday, the suspect's husband says the driver never realized she hit anyone.

Virginia Aldez was driving her Nissan Pathfinder near East Marshall and North Trenton.  Her husband says they were shocked to see police come to their door and accuse her of a hit and run.

"The police say, 'Hey, who's driving that white Nissan?' I say, 'My wife.' He say, 'Somebody hit a boy with that white Nissan.' And I ask my wife and my wife say, 'No, I never see the boy.' Somebody put the ball in front of the Nissan is what my wife see," said Ernesto Mercado, suspect's husband.

Police say Aldez was behind the wheel of her SUV when she hit six-year old Johan Fernandez.  Aldez told police she thought she ran over a ball and her husband says she even stopped to tell the kids to stop playing in the street.

"So, when my wife look and everything is alright, she goes on, but never see the boy," said Ernesto Mercado.

Javier Martinez is the boy's pastor.  He says little Johan didn't break any bones and is expected to be fine.  Martinez says he didn't see the collision but did hear a loud car engine.

"Like driving too fast, putting gas all the way down," said Pastor Javier Martinez.

A witness followed Aldez to her home a quarter of a mile away then called police.

Martinez says the boy's family holds no grudges and feel sorry that the situation has disrupted two families.

"I don't think the parents of the boy, they are good people, I don't think they're angry either.  These things happen," said Pastor Javier Martinez.

Aldez was booked for leaving an accident and driving without a license.  She's currently in custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.