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Police nearing arrest in Pueblo hit and run

Gary Amendola hospital
Posted at 10:37 AM, Jul 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 12:37:00-04

PUEBLO — PUEBLO -- Pueblo police officers say they've received several good tips about the suspect from last week's hit and run crash in Bessemer that put a 71-year-old grandfather in the hospital with serious injuries. Officers believe that they know who the driver was and they're working to confirm some details before applying for an arrest warrant. All they can say at this point is that she is a woman and the vehicle is not registered to her.

The wreck happened Thursday night at the intersection of Mesa Road and Evans Avenue. The force of the crash cause Gary Amendola's Jeep to roll over into the entrance of the Tacontento restaurant. His daughter, Deana Lucero, told News 5 on Sunday that her dad suffered several broken ribs and broken vertebrae.

An emergency room nurse, Deana said the sight of her father's injuries was shocking. She reached out to the news media in hopes of bringing the driver responsible to justice.

"The only thing that makes me feel like I'm really doing anything is to get the word out there and I'm hoping that maybe pictures can be put up of this car and somebody will see it and say. 'Hey, I know who was driving this car, I know what happened," she said.

Tacontento is closed due to the damage to its only entrance. The broken glass doors and windows are boarded up and a note tells customers it could take a few months to reopen after all of the damage.

This the type of serious injury hit and run crash would have ordinarily triggered a Medina Alert. That system was created by state lawmakers a few years ago and functions similar to Amber Alert for hit and run crashes.

Police Captain Kenny Rider explained that they did not request public assistance through Medina Alert in this crash because of a lack of suspect information. They knew the driver she was a woman with a pink purse. However, she fled the scene on foot abandoning the wrecked SUV.