By Carson Gerber
Tribune staff writer
A 58-year-old Kokomo man died Sunday morning after a 17-year-old male driver ran into him and his wife Saturday night. The couple were attempting to cross the street on South Dixon Road after leaving a family get-together.
Rudy Valdez died around 5 a.m. Sunday at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, according to Joey Cavazos, a cousin who witnessed Saturday’s accident.
Leslie Valdez, 53, Kokomo, underwent surgery Sunday at St. Vincent for extensive injuries, according to Cavazos. Her condition was not known at the time of publication.
A preliminary police investigation revealed the couple attempted to cross the road at the 1500 block of South Dixon Road around 10:20 p.m. when they were struck by a silver Ford Mustang.
The Mustang was driven by a 17-year-old male with two juvenile passengers in the vehicle, according to police.
The driver suffered minor injuries. The investigation revealed that the driver was not drinking alcohol. Police have not revealed how fast the vehicle was moving.
At the time of the accident, Rudy suffered a traumatic injury to his left leg. Leslie was unconscious at the scene. Both victims were transported to Saint Joseph Hospital in Kokomo and later airlifted via separate helicopters to St. Vincent Hospital.
Cavazos said the accident occurred after Rudy and Leslie were leaving a large family get-together on Dixon Road. He said some family members had to park across the street in a business’ parking lot and walk across the road to get to the residence.
Cavazos said the couple stepped off the sidewalk, and then he heard the screech of tires as the driver tried to stop. He said Leslie lay unconscious and Rudy attempted to get up after being hit.
“It was just a fluke,” he said. “It’s a shame.”
The accident remains under investigation. Anyone who might have information about the incident is asked to contact the Kokomo Police Department at 765-459-5101.