Troopers: Driver knew he hit Lake County boy, 14, before driving away

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — The driver who hit and killed a 14-year-old Lake County boy Thursday morning knew he hit the boy, but got scared and drove away, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said Enrique Ramirez, 57, told them he swerved to avoid the boy, but knew he had hit him before driving away. He said since other people stopped, he thought he could leave, investigators said.

A Lake County judge ordered Ramirez to remain in jail on a $100,000 bond after being arrested by FHP for the hit-and-run crash.


According to the FHP, 14-year-old Owen Wells was crossing County Road 544 near Willo Pines Lane just before 6:30 a.m. Thursday when he was hit by a car driving northbound.

Troopers said the teen was thrown into the southbound lanes, where he was hit by a pickup truck driving the opposite way on County Road 455.

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The driver of the pickup, a 59-year-old man from Ferndale, was not injured and waited at the crash scene until troopers arrived.

Investigators said Ramirez was driving the Pontiac G6 that struck Wells. Ramirez did not stop after the accident and continued driving.

FHP put out a description of the car, and eventually Lake County deputies found the Pontiac that they believe hit the teen abandoned nearby, according to troopers.

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Investigators placed the car into evidence and said they were speaking with the owner about who may have been driving the car at the time of the crash.

See map of location below:

On Thursday evening, FHP announced it had charged Ramirez with leaving the scene of a deadly accident involving death, a first-degree felony.

WFTV found court documents that Ramirez was also involved in leaving the scene a deadly accident in Orange County back in 1999. WFTV has requested the report on that crash from the Ocoee Police Department.

Wells was a student at nearby Lake Minneola High School, where the district had grief counselors on hand to help students and staff deal with the loss of their classmate.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.