In 2009, an 11-year-old girl, Ashley Valdez, stepped off her school bus,
crossing the street after the bus driver dropped her off on the wrong
side of the street. Tragically while crossing the street, she was struck
and killed by a driver who fled the scene of the crime.
Last week, Harvey Abraham, the motorist who fled the scene of the accident
after striking Valdez, was sentenced in a Miami-Dade courtroom. Because
he fled the scene of the accident and attempted to cover up evidence as
well, according to the
Miami Herald, Abraham will spend the next six years in prison. After he serves his
prison sentence, he will then be on probation for eight years.
When Abraham struck Valdez, he fled in his Ford-150 pick up truck to a
South Miami auto body shop, filing a claim stating he was a victim in
a traffic accident. While at the body shop, Abraham’s truck was
spotted and police were called. When questioned by police, Abraham stated
he thought he had hit a dog on the road.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Thomas Rebull told the accused in the courtroom
during sentencing, “Mr. Abraham, if you had just stopped, even if
there was nothing you could do to help Ashley Valdez, I can’t imagine
you would be facing what you are facing.”
When Judge Rebull pronounced the sentencing, Abraham’s teenage daughter
fell to the courtroom floor shrieking. Abraham’s brother Timothy
stated his brother was a good man, and had been working three jobs to
support his wife and two daughters.
Adonay Gonzalez, Ashley Valdez’s mother, felt the incident that took
her daughter’s life was an accident, but she told Abraham in court
“because you left the scene and you never turned back, I’m
filled with questions.” Gonzalez, who brought photos of her daughter
to court and spoke about the kindness and liveliness of the 11-year-old
child, told Abraham in the courtroom, “You destroyed my life.”