A 15-year-old East Atlantic Beach girl who planned to celebrate her Sweet 16 later this week will now undergo multiple surgeries after she was hit by a drunk driver and dragged several feet.
Sarah Colletti remained in the hospital burn unit after she was struck on East Beech Street at Edwards Boulevard in Long Beach while riding her bicycle on Labor Day, according to CBS New York.
“[The] fact that I’m alive right now is the biggest miracle,” Colletti tweeted from the hospital on Wednesday, the website reported.
The motorist, indentified as German Gutierrez, a 49-year-old Long Beach resident, was driving a jeep eastbound when he struck Colletti and dragged her about halfway down the block, between Edwards and Riverside Boulevard, on Sept. 3, said Sgt. Eric Cregeen, the Long Beach Police Department’s public information officer.
“He drags her a couple of hundred feet, her and her bicycle, before she was separated from the vehicle,” he said.
Police received a call about the incident at 8:53 p.m., in which the witness described the vehicle in question as a red jeep that had left the accident scene and continued driving eastbound on East Beech, Cregeen said.
Meanwhile, police received a second call that a motorist struck a parked car at the 200 block of East Beech. Police were able to stop and arrest Gutierrez at the 500 block of East Beech, between Lincoln and Franklin boulevards. Gutierrez was charged with driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of personal injury accident, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, and second-degree vehicular assault.
The Long Beach School District, on learning about the accident involving one of their students, released the following statement: "The Long Beach Board of Education and Administration are greatly saddened about the tragic accident that took place on Monday evening involving an eleventh-grade Long Beach High School student. Our thoughts and prayers are with the student and family during this time and we hope that the student makes a full and quick recovery and is back in school soon. The Long Beach Schools fully supports the efforts of the local police to stop drunk and impaired driving."