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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Hit-and-run suspect says he was ‘scared’ after killing teen on way to bus stop

Enrique Ramirez
Enrique Ramirez

A hit-and-run suspect told investigators he was “scared” after killing a teen who was on his way to a bus stop last week in Lake County.

Enrique Ramirez, 57, of Winter Garden, continued to be held this weekend on $100,000 bond at the Lake County Jail on a felony charge of hit and run.

Ramirez was arrested in the death of a 14-year-old who had been on his way to a bus stop early Thursday morning near Clermont. The teen was struck by a 2007 Pontiac G6. He was lying in the roadway when the driver of a 2006 Dodge Ram pickup ran over him, believing it was pile of debris and he could not react in time, according to an arrest report from the Florida Highway Patrol. The driver of the truck stopped at the scene. A bystander called 911. Broken pieces of a headlight, mirror and reflector from the Pontiac were found at the scene.

A Lake County sheriff’s deputy found the Pontiac parked at a home in Montverde. The home is owned by a man who operates a landscaping company. He said Ramirez, who is his employee, had arrived with two fellow workers and took a work truck to go out on company business for the day. The landscaping company owner said Ramirez and his companions had been acting “weird.”

The landscaping company owner found Ramirez and his two co-workers and took them to FHP headquarters in Orlando. They were interviewed by an investigator with FHP.

Ramirez said he “saw a shadow on the roadway” and “swerved” to avoid it. He said he struck the person and then saw the person being hit by a truck. Ramirez said he pulled to the side of the road “momentarily.” He said he left the scene because he was “scared.”

Ramirez’s two companions confirmed his version of the story.

The deceased has been identified as Owen Wells, a student at Lake Minneola High School. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.

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