ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — It has been 8 1/2 years since Mahmoud Arabi was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Arabi was with friends, crossing International Drive near Vineland Road on St. Patrick’s Day 2013 when he was struck and killed.
The 22-year-old law student from Australia was an intern at Walt Disney World.
See a map of the crash scene below:
Speaking from her home in Australia, Nehed Arabi said her son had big plans for his future.
“His dreams were so high, his expectations of life, so, so high. He could reach the stars if he chose to,” she said.
It wasn’t until 2015 that a warrant was issued for the driver of the car, Jose Ruiz.
As the years passed with no arrests, the Arabi family grew more and more frustrated.
“I’m the one in jail. I’m the one that’s captive,” Nehed Arabi said. “My life is gone. My family’s life is gone.”
In August, Ruiz was arrested in Pennsylvania and extradited to Florida.
Ruiz was booked into the Orange County jail on one count of leaving the scene of an accident with death.
Nehed Arabi said she is still waiting for justice for her son.
“We will not have full closure until justice is served and he is behind bars so he doesn’t do this to another family again,” she said.
Ruiz is out on bond awaiting trial.
If convicted, he could face at least four years in prison.
See previous story from 2017 below: