LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 15-year-old Atlantic Beach girl remained in the hospital burn unit Wednesday following a Labor Day hit-and-run accident.
Sarah Colletti was riding her bicycle Monday night when Long Beach police said a drunk driver hit her and dragged her before coming to a stop.
“She was struck in the front of the vehicle, pinned underneath with the bicycle. She was subsequently dragged across East Beech Street approximately 600 feet,” Long Beach Police Sgt. Edward Ryan told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Colletti tweeted from the hospital burn unit on Wednesday. She said, “[The] fact that I’m alive right now is the biggest miracle.”
Police said the DWI suspect, 49-year-old German Gutierrez, sped away in his Jeep after hitting Colletti but was stopped by locals who chased after him.
“I am so angry. I’m furious, just unbelievable how you could do that to somebody and drag them for five, six blocks and not even stop,” witness Lance Rosenberg told McLogan.
Rosenberg and his wife called 911 when Gutierrez’s car stopped in front of their house.
“Trying to get him out of his car, he wasn’t able to keep his balance. It was a lot of police cars and they put him in handcuffs,” Alice Rosenberg told McLogan.
Colletti grew up playing sports and some neighbors said that may have contributed to her survival.
“She’s a beautiful young lady and an athlete and that’s probably what helped her survive,” neighbor Jennifer Danzig said.
“Terrible tragedy that someone would leave a child laying in the street,” neighbor Joe Henry told McLogan.
Colletti’s “Sweet 16” is this week, but she will spend it undergoing multiple surgeries to her hands, arms and legs.
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