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Police: Taxi Hits, Kills Woman & Speeds Off

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- The family of a woman hit and killed in North Miami has a message for the driver who left her on the road to die.

"For a person to take my sister's life away like that and leave her in the street like she's a piece of trash, come on. She didn't deserve this," said Julia Peter, the sister of the late Junette Escarment.

Escarment, 38, was struck in front of an apartment building on NE 6th Avenue at 132nd Street around 6 a.m. She worked as a teaching assistant at the Miami-Dade Bethune Head Start Center that gives a lift up to children in a largely low-income neighborhood.

Police have not released a description of the male driver but did know a little about the car. They believe it was a taxi or taxi type van.  Police said surveillance video shows an image of the wanted vehicle.

Authorities said they are working very hard to enhance the video of the taxi cab. They want to get the phone number or any other identifying marks off of it. They are also checking ownership of each van-style taxi in the area.

North Miami Hit & Run 12/22/15
Authorities released surveillance video of taxi cab they are looking for connected to a deadly hit and run in North Miami on Dec. 22, 2015. (Courtesy: North Miami Police)

"It was a think black male driving the vehicle," said Officer Natalie Buissereth with the North Miami Police Department. "He struck. He killed her, left her there and took off."

Escarment was going to get a cup of coffee before heading off to the Head Start center when she was struck.

A grief stricken family had something else to say to the driver who hit Escarment.

"What you did to my sister, where ever you are, you can sit there and think it could have been your mom, your sister, your father. It could have been your own child," said Peter.

Family members said Escarment earned a criminology degree from Miami Dade College in 2013.

While her degree was in criminology, she was unable to pursue her dream of a job in law enforcement due to a seizure disorder she suffers.  Still, North Miami police say she never missed a police event, award ceremonies, community outreach efforts and other events.

"She was just great," said Officer Buissereth.

Her family is asking for assistance for funeral arrangements. Those interested in helping, please call Neighbors 4 Neighbors at (305) 597-4404.


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