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Crash Involving Stolen City Backhoe Kills Woman

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UPDATE: On Friday, December 2, Dallas Police released a sketch of the suspect:

suspect sketch
suspect sketch in deadly hit and run with stolen backhoe in Dallas

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas police need help as a family grieves the loss of a young woman killed in a strange hit-and-run accident involving a city-owned backhoe.

Investigators said the backhoe, owned by the city's Water Department, was at the intersection of Walnut Hill Lane and Shady Trail when a man stole it around 5:00 a.m.

About 45 minutes later it was heading the wrong way down the northbound lanes of the Stemmons Freeway when it plowed head on into the victims.

Released from the hospital with cuts on her hand and a soar shoulder, Diana Mejicanos remembers driving in the middle lane heading north on the Stemmons Freeway.

"We didn't see it 'cause it didn't have its lights on, so we didn't see it 'til the last minute," Mejicanos said.

With the massive tractor heading straight at her, she swerved to her left just as the backhoe slammed into her passenger side where her sister was sitting.

"I stopped and... I asked my sister, I was like, are you okay? I saw that her side was all the way down. Her side of the car was down, and she was laying back," Mejicanos said.

Witnesses said the man driving the backhoe jumped down from his seat in the middle of the freeway and ran across the median.

"I was in shock, and I was crying and screaming, and I signaled him, and I was like, help, help, and he looked at me, and he jumped over the bridge and ran," Mejicanos said.

Her sister, Lizbeth Suarez died from her injuries. The family says the recent high school graduate was just starting to discover where life would take her.

"She was a great person. She was my favorite sister. She was my best friend. I'm going to miss her very much," Mejicanos said.

Anyone with information about the original theft of the backhoe or where the suspect may have gone after the crash should contact police.

CBS 11 has reached out to the city of Dallas for a response to the theft of the backhoe and is still waiting to hear back.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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