Victims of Friday night's hit-and-run speak out - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Victims of Friday night's hit-and-run speak out

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Chaos erupted at 6:28 Friday evening on Hylda Street, just two minutes before a vigil for the victim of a fatal hit-and-run was set to begin.  Felix Rodriguez and four others were struck by the driver of a white Pontiac Sunfire just after the driver of the car struck two cars.

Those young men were ironically attending the vigil for their friend Robby Brown who was killed in the same area by a still unknown driver less than a week ago.

Police found the car they believe was used in last night's hit-and-run assault just hours after and they believe they will be able to make an arrest in this case

Some of the victims took time to talk with 21 News.

Rodriguez, 21, says the moment was unreal like a scene from one of his favorite video games, "Grand Theft Auto," except real people were being tossed and mowed down.

Felix Rodriguez, 19, says the car's headlights were on then suddenly turned off when it reached them.

Rodriguez was bruised but considers himself blessed to be alive. He worries and prays about his friends who were more seriously injured like Tyler Austin

Austin is in critical condition after undergoing surgery.

Rodriguez tells us Austin was hit twice.

The car hit him one time causing him to fly through the air and back into harm's way. That's when he was run over and dragged.

Witnesses say the driver dragged Austin at least 70 feet as he fled.

Chester Mitchell, 19, was struck from behind and he remembers his leg being numb then intense pain.

Mitchell, who tells us he is praying for Tyler and all of his friends, suffered a broken and dislocated ankle.  He says surgeons put two screws and two plates on each side.

He will have to undergo therapy after staying off his leg for at least 6 weeks.

Mitchell was released from the hospital after undergoing surgery. His family feels blessed he is alive.

Mitchell also worries about his friends, Hector Tejda, 19, whose back and leg were injured and Ricardo Reyes, 19, whose leg is broken.

Police seized a white Pontiac Sunfire outside Brandywine Apartments with obvious damage to it's windshield and side of the car, damage that is consistent with what witnesses saw and evidence at the scene.

Detectives say they do not believe this hit-and-run was related to the vigil for 23-year-old Robert Brown, Jr. who was struck and killed on Hylda at the site of the vigil less than a week earlier.

Det. Sgt. Patty Garcar with the Accident Investigative Unit tells us tests must be done on the Sunfire to prove it is the actual vehicle that was involved in the hit-and-run.

Detectives have interviewed people and the department expects to make arrests.

Garcar advises anyone that saw the vehicle being driven or dropped off at Brandywine Apartments to contact her at 330- 742-8777

Watch 21 News at 11 p.m. to see and hear two of the victims speak.

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