Tucson family claims county declined pursuing charges after toddler was injured in hit-and-run

Family seeks justice for Catalina Rodriguez
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 4:54 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 2:39 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The family of Catalina Rodriguez, a toddler left fighting for her life after a in a hit-and-run in Tucson’s southside, is seeking justice and answers after they say their case was dropped.

A driver struck two-year-old Catalina, her pregnant mother and grandpa in a crosswalk and fled the scene on April 16.

“He didn’t even break to see what happened, he just kept moving,” said Theresa Hernandez, Catalina’s grandma.

Hernandez says one quarter of the little girl’s brain had to be removed. Catalina was finally able to come home about one month ago.

“They see their sister laying in the bed everyday unable to move, talk or cry. Barely any movement, it’s hard,” Theresa Hernandez said.

She says doctors have warned Catalina may not make it to adulthood. The family is demanding justice and claims the Pima County Attorney’s Office has declined to pursue charges against the vehicle owner.

“He’s out there enjoying his life. He gets to wake up and eat breakfast and see his children everyday. My granddaughter is never going to get that chance. He’s just walking out there. I want justice,” Theresa Hernandez said.

She says charges aren’t being filed because no evidence was found to put the driver inside the vehicle at the time of the hit-and-run. KOLD News 13 reached out to the county attorney’s office who declined to comment on the case Wednesday, but said they will respond “as soon as possible.”

“We’re just asking everyone support us in this. We want to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future again to another family as it has broken our family and hurt our family,” said Paul Hernandez, Catalina’s uncle.

The family is now seeking answers and has no plans of stopping until they see justice for Catalina. A peaceful rally will be held for Catalina on Friday, Sept. 3. The family is asking the community to wear purple, which is Catalina’s favorite color.

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