Clay County

‘It threw me in the air’: Clay hit & run victim says she’s lucky to be alive

ORANGE PARK, Fla. — The victim of an Orange Park hit-and-run early Friday morning is in the hospital with serious injuries.

Monica Martinez told Action News Jax that the crash left her with a broken knee, fractured thigh, fractured vertebrae, and serious bruising.

RELATED: Florida Highway Patrol searching for suspect who struck, injured woman in Clay County

“I can’t get out of bed on my own. I certainly can’t walk on my own. It’s going to be a long time before I can do that. It just hurts. Everything hurts.”

The 39-year-old said she works in the restaurant industry and the hit-and-run will likely put her out of work for months.

Martinez said she was walking to 7-Eleven at the corner of Blanding and Belmont Boulevard around 1:30 Friday morning. It’s a walk she said she makes often.

“I remember crossing at the cross walk and I can see I still had at least 15 to 20 seconds on there,” she said. “I know [the car] threw me in the air and I remember being on my back and thinking ‘oh my God I’m going to get hit again.’”

She said someone stopped and helped her to safety, but the rest is a blur until the ambulance ride to Orange Park Medical Center.

“I remember talking to someone and telling him ‘oh my God it hurts so bad.’ And I think that’s all I could to say to him. And I don’t know who that person was.”

Martinez got a ticket for jaywalking when she was a teenager and said she’s a stickler for using the crosswalk to cross the road.

Florida Highway Patrol said the driver ran a red light. They’re now looking for this man who troopers said is possibly a delivery driver.

FHP said the suspect was driving a black Chevrolet Cruze, which could now have damage to the right front and side of the car.

Martinez, a mother of two, said she’s lucky to be alive, but has months of rehab.

Her sister, Jessica set up a fundraiser on Facebook to help with medical bills. Martinez also lost her glasses, which she said she just purchased for about $1,300.

To donate to Martinez’s, click here.

“It makes me really sad to know there’s people out there that could know they hit another person and not say or do anything to help,” she said.

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Troopers said the driver is a 25-year-old male, with thin build and brown hair. Anyone with information is asked to call FHP at *347.