ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Florida Highway Patrol troopers said an arrest warrant has been issued for the driver involved in a hit-and-run crash that left two women dead in Pine Hills last week.
Investigators said the driver of a black SUV ran a red light and slammed into a Toyota, killing Veronica Williams, 53, and her friend, Bessie Anderson, 78, on June 1.
According to FHP, the hit-and-run driver is 23-year-old Brye Jenkins and a warrant for his arrest was issued Monday. Family members of the victims told Channel 9 they were relieved to hear the driver had been identified.
"I just had ah, relief in my chest. It's like something just moved," Bessie Anderson's daughter Barbara Rosetta said.
"It doesn't bring my wife back but we need some justice on this also," Veronica Williams' husband James Williams said.
Troopers said it was Jenkins who ran from the scene after slamming into Veronica Williams vehicle.
The women, who were neighbors, were headed to the store at the time of the crash.
"We've been really shook up behind all of this because we can't understand why. Why did he run the red light? Why he in such a big rush?" Rosetta said.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Jenkins' girlfriend was with him in the SUV and intially denied knowing him. But Crimeline tips and surveillance video led investigators to issue the arrest warrant.
"It's just a matter of time before somebody locates him, whether it's our agency or another agency," Sgt. Kim Montes with FHP said.
Jenkins will be charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident with death.
Family and friends of the women gathered Sunday night at the scene of the crash to remember the two victims.
"When somebody is old, you're kind of looking for them to die, when somebody is sick, looking for them to die, but when it's just 'bam' all of a sudden
, it's not easy," Linda Edwards, sister of one of the victims, said.
Family members told Channel 9 they'll forgive the driver responsible for the crash, but they want to know where his compassion is.
"You know exactly what you done wrong. Those were two loving people. They belonged to somebody," Rosetta said.
Anyone with knowledge of Jenkins' whereabouts is asked to call FHP at 407-737-2213.