16-year-old dies after hit-and-run in East Naples

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
15-year-old Kimberly Yanira. Credit: Florida Highway Patrol.

Florida Highway Patrol is investigating what has become a deadly hit-and-run in East Naples after a teenage girl died from her injures in the crash.

We confirmed with 16-year-old Kimberly Yanira’s family she died in the hospital Friday after she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle across US-41 Aug. 22. Troopers say the driver of the car that hit her left the scene.

We also learned Friday investigators identified the driver and impounded the vehicle involved, but his name has not been released, and there hasn’t been an arrest. The driver is considered a person of interest.

Investigators say this 4-door Kia hit 16-year-old Kimberly Yanira when she attempted to cross US-41 in East Naples Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, and the driver behind the wheel left the scene of the crash. Credit: Florida Highway Patrol.

According to the FHP crash report, troopers responded to the scene of the crash on US-41 near Pineland Avenue.

Investigators say a 40-year-old man driving a 4-door Kia was traveling west on US-41 in the center lane, approaching Pineland Avenue when Kimberly was riding her bike south along Pineland Ave. She was attempting to cross US-41 travel lanes toward a nearby shopping plaza on US-41.

The front of the Kia hit Kimberley, and she fell on the road. She was taken to an NCH hospital to treat critical injuries, and then, she was transferred to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood in Broward County, where she died Friday.

Investigators say the driver of the Kia never stopped to help Kimberly and left the scene of the crash, continuing westbound on US-41.

Kimberly’s family was celebrating her birthday the day of the crash. They say she was out running errands and never returned home.

“It pains me that she’s not here with me right now,” father Felipe Cac Xona said.

Cac Xona got the call no parent wants to hear.

“I received a call to come out and get her, but when I arrived, she wasn’t there,” Cac Xona said. “They had already taken her to the hospital.”

Kimberly’s father works at Alice Sweetwater’s Bar and Grille. When the general manager heard what happened, she quickly did everything she could to help.

“I just wrote the initial check for them to cover the cost of everything,” General manager Mary Beth Atwell said.

Atwell helped cover the cost to send Kimberly back to Guatemala, where she’ll be buried, and others quickly joined.

“I had a lady show up here today with $600 and a card for him,” Atwell said. “I mean, it’s just quite amazing the outpouring of support from everybody in the community.”

Atwell says the community is showing a tremendous amount of love to Kimberly and her family, but one question remains.

“The whole situation is devastating,” Atwell said. “But it’s even more devastating that somebody could care less about stopping and seeing if they could help that person.”

The crash remains under investigation. No charges have been filed at this time. Anyone with information about the crash can contact FHP at 239-938-1800.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.