Police search for hit-and-run driver who slammed into minivan with small children inside in Polk Co.

LAKE HAMILTON, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County mother is pleading for a hit-and-run driver to come forward, after they slammed into her minivan with her three small children inside.

“I was screaming, I was crying. Both of my daughters were crying. My son was asleep and of course woke up not knowing what was happening,” Angela Dasilva told WFLA.

The crash happened on Monday around 7:47 p.m. on U.S. 27 Southbound at Kokomo Road.

Dasilva tells WFLA a black Kia SUV pulled out from Kokomo Road and sideswiped the entire driver’s side of her minivan while the family was traveling on US-27 Southbound.

The impact nearly caused the minivan to flip with the woman, her husband and their three small children inside, ages 5, 2 and an 8-month-old baby.

Dasilva tells WFLA the person did a U-turn and took off immediately.

“It’s really crazy that someone can hit you, your three kids are in the car and they don’t even stop. Their first instinct is to turn around and run away,” she said.

Police were able to locate a front bumper that broke from the vehicle. According to Lake Hamilton Police, the vehicle is a 1998-2002 black Kia Sportage.

“We are going to make this a final plea as the investigation continues for that person or persons involved to come forward,” Lake Hamilton Police Sergeant Terrell Turner said. “What we’re finding here lately, either vehicles are not registered in the state, which is a violation of the Florida State statute. The other reasons, one, they are intoxicated, or two, they don’t have a valid driver’s license.”

According to the family, their insurance is only covered for liability and personal injury, so they are at a loss. “The repairs are going to be more than it is worth,” Dasilva said.

“The repairs are going to be more than it is worth,” Dasilva said.

Dasilva hopes sharing her story encourages the driver to come forward.

“We didn’t ask for our lives to be disrupted. Just do the right thing,” she said.

Police are working with local businesses for surveillance footage.

Sgt. Turner said they have seen a growing number of issues along US-27 and at that intersection.

“In the last 24 months, the number of crashes that we’ve investigated here in the area have increased dramatically. What we’re looking at is making contact with the department of transportation and seeing what we can do, as far as having them do a study of the intersection, and see if it actually needs a red light,” Sgt. Turner said.

If you have information or saw the crash, contact Sergeant Turner at 863-439-4711 or Heartland Crimestoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477)

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