The 21-year-old Hartford man accused of running over an 82-year-old woman on Park Street last week made a brief court appearance today.
Victor Morales’ attorney, Corey Brinson, requested a continuance, which was granted for August 22.
Morales was released on a promise to appear and was then taken into custody on another warrant, believed to be related to his immigration status, but details were not immediately available.
According to police, Morales was backing up a van in a driveway behind the C-Town Supermarket at Newton and Park streets when he went over the curb and hit Maria Santos, pinning her down.
Lt. Brian Foley, of the Hartford Police Department, said emergency responders needed a forklift to remove the van and free Santos.
She remains in the ICU at St. Francis Hospital and is critical but now stablecondition, which is a slight improvement from last week, according to police.
"It was a difficult situation for everybody," Foley said after the crash.
Police said Morales did not see Santos and ran from the scene, went inside the store and notified a manager that an accident had happened.
The incident was reported around 12:30 p.m. on July 11 and Morales was arrested around 1 p.m., when he returned to the scene and a witness identified him, according to the police report.
When Morales was questioned about the incident, he told police that he was driving the truck and hit reverse after checking both side mirrors, according to police.
He said he immediately called the assistant manager of C-Town when he saw the woman and called 911.
When asked why he left the scene, Morales said he was "really scared" when "cops" arrived, according to the incident report.
Authorities said Morales did not appear to have a driver's license and was carrying a Mexican passport. They are looking into his immigration status, police said.
According to police, Morales works for C-Town and had just completed a delivery when the incident occurred.
Police said the manager told police that he was the one behind the wheel of the truck, knowing that Morales should not have been driving the truck.
The manager also said he did not know why Morales was in the truck and he should not have been making deliveries.
Morales was charged with reckless driving, evading responsibility, unsafe backing, operating without a license and driving on a sidewalk.
"Our prayers and thoughts are with the victim, Ms. Santos. This is nothing more than a tragic accident. My client did call 911, did go to his employer to render assistance. At no time did he try to flee from the scene of the accident," Brinson said outside court.