Laguna Heights Woman Hit by Deputy Constable's Unit Speaks O
LAGUNA HEIGHTS – A Laguna Heights woman is at home recovering after she was hit by a Cameron County Pct. 1 deputy constable while crossing Highway 100 last Sunday night.
Six years ago, Yeni Romero started calling Laguna Heights home. She said she's crossed Highway 100 thousands of times commuting to and from work.
Still bed ridden with a broken leg and badly bruised body, Romero said she knows knows it could've been worse.
"My daughter, I just thank God that she's alive because I had her with me," she said.
Romero and her 2-year-old daughter, Michelle, were crossing the street two Sundays ago at about 9 p.m. to buy dinner.
The deputy constable struck the mother and daughter as they made their way to the middle turn lane.
Romero claims not too many cars were on the highway. She said she saw the constable coming in the distance, when she began walking across the highway
"That's why I had trust, because he's a law enforcement officer. I told myself, he'll brake. There was traffic, but not to the point to where I wouldn't be able to cross the street. Since I saw him, I thought I had more protection to cross with my daughter," she said.
Romero works three jobs. She told CHANNEL 5 NEWS she sends money back home to her native El Salvador to provide for her six children there.
Right now, she can't do that. She said it's causing her more anguish.
"People ask me why I work so much, but El Salvador is a poor country where you have to send money, so they can make it," Romero said. "I pay one of their aunts over there to wash their clothes and take them to school."
Romero said that during the six years she's lived in Laguna Heights, crossing the street at will is the only way there is.
The nearest crosswalk is located in front of Port Isabel High School, more than a half-mile away.
By the time she saw the constable getting closer, she said it was already too late.
"In order to protect the baby, I turned to try to get her out of the way," Romero said. "Then I just felt the impact, and I remember I threw the stroller towards the side of the road."
Romero said she's not sure why the constable didn't see her in time to brake, but she's urging all drivers who pass through her small town to pay attention to the road.
"If someone is behind the wheel, it's because they know what they are doing," she said.
Romero has at least six more weeks to go before the metal rods are taken out of her leg. She's hoping to get back to work to continue providing for her children.
A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman said the investigation of the incident found no wrongdoing on the deputy constable's part.
Shortly after the accident, the Texas Department of Transportation got a request for a crosswalk survey to determine the need there. Surveillance equipment for that will be put in place in the next few months.
Here's a look back at how things developed, following the accident in Laguna Heights:
- July 30 - Romero was hit by the constable and air lifted to a San Antonio hospital
- July 31 - Residents in Laguna Heights begin asking for crosswalks and speak with CHANNEL 5 NEWS
- July 31 - Pct. 1 constable Pete Delgadillo confirms deputy constable granted days off
- August 1 - Concerned citizen submits formal request for crosswalk study to TxDOT
- August 3 - DPS spokesman denies allegations that deputy was driving with headlights off
- August 5 - Residents take to the streets to hold signs asking for change
- August 8 - Woman released from hospital
- August 9 - DPS says investigation is complete, determines there was no wrongdoing by deputy