PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A man is dead after getting hit by two cars in Palm Springs Sunday night. One driver stopped, the other kept going. It's the latest hit-and-run crash to take a life in our valley. Now, one victim's mother wants to make a change and is calling on other families to do the same.
Cody Tarrant is bed-ridden at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. Both of his hands are broken, his right foot is broken and he also has a broken collar bone. He was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle in Desert Hot Springs. It happened three days before his 23rd birthday, but that's not the worst part. "My natural reaction was I looked over to see if the driver was going to come back, but when I looked over the van didn't even stop," said Tarrant. "It was already gone."
The driver never came back and likely doesn't know Cody must endure several more surgeries and at least a year of physical therapy. "I was deeply hurt, I was angry," said Elisa Tarrant, Cody's mother. "I was scared, very, very scared."
After seeing the pain a hit-and-run driver can cause, Elisa wants to make a change. She plans on starting the "Coalition Against Hit-and-Run" to help stop these crimes in the valley. "It's not just for bringing attention to these matters, but also funding and helping the families financially," said Elisa.
Families like that of Zia Hoyos, the 16-year-old, killed in a hit-and-run in May of 2012. A friend of driver turned her in, but the damage was already done. "I will never be 100%," said Senta Florez, her mother. "That's a huge portion of my heart that's been taken away from me."
The man who was hit by two cars on Sunday night was on Gene Autry Trail, near Via Escuela in Palm Springs. A short ways away where Hoyos was hit. He died at the hospital. One car stopped, one kept driving. "It brings everything back again," said Florez. "That is not a safe area."
The families of these victims have already found some peace in empathizing together. Tarrant hopes the coalition keeps their group from growing in number. "I know it won't bring your children back and it won't bring your loved ones back, but maybe we can render justice for other people coming," said Tarrant.