Fresno woman trapped in vehicle after hit-and-run crash

FRESNO, Calif.

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The crash happened on McKinley near West Ave. in central Fresno just after 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

The woman, identified as Becky Hernandez by family members, was unloading groceries from her car when all of a sudden she found herself trapped, unable to move. She was at Community Regional Medical Center recovering from her wounds while police look for the hit-and-run driver.

Hernandez had to be terrified as she was trapped between an overturned vehicle and a big tree. "The driver's side rear door opened up and her foot ended up outside of her door and was stuck between the door and the door jam," said Koby Johns with the Fresno Fire rescue team.

Investigators said the small white SUV was parked in the woman's driveway on McKinley when a gray Lincoln town car struck it from the side. The impact sent the SUV onto its side -- before resting on a metal gate and tree in the front yard of Hernandez's neighbor.

Hernandez remained conscious but emergency crews could not get her out and had to call in extra resources. "It was a harry situation because you have a person in there that's in pretty good condition and we obviously don't want to make it worse. We were worried about the car dropping on her somehow and essentially crushing her feet," said Johns.

Additional crews moved in to stabilize the vehicle with chains and a hoist. "We used the tree to keep the vehicle from falling on her. We used pieces of wood and big heavy lifting airbags to essentially push against the vehicle," said Johns.

Fifteen minutes passed before rescuers pulled Hernandez from the car with only minor injuries. They rolled her to an ambulance and sped off to Community Regional Medical Center.

During all the chaos, the driver of the Lincoln was nowhere to be found. "The driver and passenger both exited the vehicle and subsequently ran away westbound on McKinley from the scene," said James Beebe with the Fresno Police Dept.

Police dusted the vehicle for fingerprints and found ammo magazines and a holster to a 45 caliber pistol inside.

In the end, neighbors were relieved to know Hernandez made it out alive. "I'm glad because she's a lovely lady, just a working lady," said neighbor Ron Hobson.

Police describe the suspected driver as a Hispanic male with a female passenger. Hernandez was last listed in fair condition at CRMC.

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