PALM COAST, Fla. - A tow truck driver responding to a call to help a woman whose car broke down on Interstate 95 in Ormond Beach on Wednesday said the woman hopped in his truck and sped off.
The driver said a woman, later identified as Angela Estrella, asked if she could take his yellow flatbed truck to New York and he responded, "Sure," thinking she was joking. He said he followed up with a serious, "No," but said Estrella jumped in the truck and took off anyway.
"I thought she was playing," the flabbergasted driver told authorities after watching Estrella drive away in his tow truck.
The incident unfolded when a deputy spotted Estrella's vehicle on the side of I-95. He pulled over, checked on her and radioed a request for a tow truck. The deputy said everything appeared OK, and he left before the tow truck arrived.
The Universal Towing truck arrived a short time later, and Estrella asked if he could take her to New York. The driver proceeded to call the rental company that owned the car to let them know their vehicle had broken down, but when he turned around, he saw Estrella in the truck taking off.
Authorities said the wrecker company tracked the vehicle's GPS, and deputies found Estrella, 37, at a gas station in Palm Coast. She was arrested and charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle.
In August 2012, Estrella faced attempted murder charges after investigators said she was purposely trying to kill her children after leading troopers on a high-speed chase and crashing her car.
Authorities said Estrella had her 6-year-old son and adult daughter in the car when a state trooper clocked her driving 112 mph on Florida's Turnpike.
When troopers attempted to pull Estrella over they said she exited the turnpike onto U.S. 192 before colliding with two other cars.
Slideshow: Crash Scene
Authorities said Estrella drove off again and eventually T-boned another vehicle, but her children only suffered minor injuries.
Estrella's children told troopers their mother was trying to kill them.