Flower Mound police search for driver who plowed into women outside restaurant

A man jumped a curb and drove his car straight into a bench where two women were sitting. Jobin Panicker spoke to the near-victims.

FLOWER MOUND, Texas -- Police are looking for the driver in a stunning video that shows him jumping the curb in front of a Flower Mound restaurant and hitting two women who were sitting on a bench.

Police say the man eventually fled the scene and they plan to charge him with a felony count of failure to stop and render aid.

The incident occurred on Oct. 15 in front of the Gloria's Latin Cuisine at 3721 Justin Road just before 1 p.m. The video shows a newer-model black Kia Optima or Kia Cadenza pull into a parking space in front of the women before hopping the curb and accelerating into the bench. The vehicle's tires continue to spin and smoke for moments after the impact, even as a bystander knocks on the driver's window to check on him.

The suspect eventually gets out of the vehicle and speaks with bystanders at the scene. He pulls the vehicle off the sidewalk and back into the parking spot before getting out again. He stands at the scene apparently discussing the crash with others for about a minute as the crowd outside the restaurant heads inside.

The women on the bench were friends identified as Diane Spinuzzi and Carla Howell. They say they were "catching up" when they saw and heard the vehicle jump the curb.

"I just thank God that Carla had the sense to push me," said Spinuzzi.

She says if Howell hadn't acted with instinct and pushed her out of the way they both would have been pinned. Both sustained minor injuries and mostly bruising, each spent a couple hours in the hospital.

But what concerns police now is the driver's failure to stay on the scene. It is seen on video that as soon as a restaurant manager goes inside the driver pulls out of the parking spot and drives off.

Flower Mound police say the man did not provide assistance or leave his information, as required by law.

"What creates the felony failure to stop and render aid is the fact that he left without supplying any info or checking on the injuries of the two women involved," said Capt. Wess Griffin with Flower Mound Police.

Police do not know if that driver was under the influence or even medically impaired.Griffin says regardless he should have stopped.

"The minute he left the scene everything changed; it was no longer an accident," Howell said.

They are already friends but now these two are bonded for life. They are tied to a traumatic experience that leaves them with lots of questions.

The suspect is described as a 50-year-old white male who is about six feet tall. He was wearing a gray Polo shirt and gray or brown cargo shorts and flip flops at the time of the incident. His vehicle should have light damage to the driver's side of the front bumper.

Anyone with any information regarding the suspect's identity is asked to call Detective Devin York at (972) 874-6507, or the non-emergency line 24 hours a day at (972) 539-0525. Anonymous tips can be left through Crime Stoppers at (972) 874-3307.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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