Tourist hurt in hit-and-run

Car impounded, police believe it was a robbery attempt

This screengrab from a video of the incident shows the two women walking along Beach Road just a split second before the car behind one of the women hits her. Second screengrab shows the woman on the ground and the car that hit her speeding away. (Saipan Tribune)

A female tourist who was walking with a friend on the shoulder of Beach Road in southern Garapan Friday afternoon was injured when she was mowed down by a car in what police believe to be a robbery attempt.

Video of the incident taken from the surveillance camera of a nearby establishment that went viral on social media showed the victim being sideswiped by the vehicle and falling to the ground.

Saipan Tribune learned that the incident happened as the two female Chinese tourists were walking north near the Mascot Auto Parts.

Department of Public Safety spokesperson Jacqueline Rae Shepard said yesterday that their highway patrol investigators are aware of the incident and are working on the case.

Shepard said police does not have a lot of information about this case as it is still under investigation.

Shepard said the victim was taken to the Commonwealth Health Center for minor injuries.

Shepard said the vehicle has been impounded.

“I have no word on the suspects yet. However, investigators believe the incident began as a purse snatching that ended in a hit-and-run,” she said.

Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Derek Gersonde said yesterday that DFEMS received a call from DPS 911 at 1:18pm, requesting for an ambulance on Beach Road, Garapan.

When DFEMS medics from the Garapan Fire Station arrived at the scene, they came upon a conscious 25-year-old woman sitting on the side of the road. The victim was complaining of pain on her right arm. She sustained abrasions on the left side arm.

Emergency medical technicians used a cervical collar and spine board to prevent further injuries on the victim. She was then brought to CHC’s emergency room at 1:40pm.

Gersonde, who said it was difficult to obtain information from the victim due to the language barrier, quoted the victim’s female friend as saying that they were walking on the side of the road when a car traveling north toward western Garapan hit her.

The video showed the two tourists walking side by side going north when the car that was also heading north swerved a little bit to the side of the road and hit the victim from the back.

The victim fell on her back. The car did not stop.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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