WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) – Brenda Mapes, 64, enjoyed riding her motorized scooter to get the mail.
Family members said she did it every day, it was something she looked forward to. On Tuesday, that simple trip cost her, her life.
Florida Highway Patrol Troopers say the driver who hit her never bothered to stop.
“When I came yesterday, all of the mail was on the ground and she was thrown way down towards those trees,” said Brenda’s daughter Jessica Mapes Laboy. “She had no regard for my mother at all. She didn’t stop. She didn’t slow down. There are no skid marks. She just kept going.”
Troopers eventually tracked the driver down and arrested her. 24-year old Nicole Marie Gennarini-Cresswell is now facing a charge for leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
The accident happened shortly before 6 p.m., in broad daylight. Witnesses provided a description of the car involved and a partial tag number. Investigators say that, coupled with car parts left at the scene, led them to the Gennarini-Cresswell’s house.
Troopers located Gennarini-Cresswell in the driver’s seat of her mangled car several hours after the accident.
Even then, they say she denied being involved in Mapes’ death. Sgt. Steve Gaskins says she originally told investigators she hit a deer.
“That was the original statement that she gave us,” said Sgt. Gaskins. “Throughout explaining her whereabouts and the damage to her car she was sitting in that she had struck a deer, went and got some dinner.”
Gaskins says drivers leave crash scenes for a number of reasons.
“They panic, they’re scared, they don’t want to get involved,” said Sgt. Gaskins. “Even though they were involved, to begin with, they just don’t want to get involved. So they just drive off. I don’t have time for this, I don’t want to deal with this. I’m scared. “
But that isn’t good enough for Jessica Mapes Laboy. Her mother was alive yesterday, and now she’s gone. She believes the least the driver responsible could do, would be to accept responsibility.
“I have no sympathy for her. I hope she gets prosecuted to the fullest extent,” said Mapes-Laboy. “There’s no reason she couldn’t have stopped.”
Gennarini Cresswell is charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving a death.