SACRAMENTO (CBS13) –
The married couple who helped catch an alleged hit-and-run driver were praised for their quick thinking in helping to save a critically injured bicyclist who was dragged nearly a quarter of a mile, according to law enforcement.
Jonathan Hobson and Lupe Zavala initially refused all media attention after helping the critically injured bicyclist on Sunday night, but they spoke out on Wednesday after being honored by the California Highway Patrol for their role in catching 23-year-old Amira Fakira, who is facing felony hit and run and DUI charges for her alleged actions.
“She ran on the sidewalk and came out on the bike lane a little bit, and just stomped on it and ran the guy right over,” Jonathan said.
The bicyclist, 26-year-old Sanjay Patel, was trapped underneath the car as the driver sped down Folsom Boulevard from near Watt Avenue to Norcade Circle while Jonathan and Lupe watched in horror, according to authorities.
As Jonathan recounted the experience Wednesday, his voice cracked with emotion and he appeared close to tears.
“He was looking back, his bike split in half, he couldn’t do anything,” he said. “All I could do was honk the horn and try to stop her.”
Fakira allegedly tried to dislodge the victim by making a U-turn near Norcade Circle, which finally freed Patel from underneath the sedan. Jonathan asked his wife to jump out of the car to help the victim while he kept following her.
Lupe said she feared Patel was already dead as she approached him. “He wasn’t moving. I came closer, and I heard him trying to talk,” she said.
Lupe called for help while Jonathan tried to follow Fakira, who sped down Folsom Boulevard at high speeds. The suspect got stuck behind traffic, and Jonathan said he ran up to her car.
“The automatic thing I figured was right was to turn off her vehicle, take her keys out of the ignition and walk away from her car,” he said. “Then she got out and started hitting me, scratching me.”
Jonathan flagged down a CHP officer who was in the area and they arrested Fakira.
“If something like that happened to me, I would hope someone would help and not leave me there to die,” he said.
The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition but is now listed in fair condition.