Hit-and-Run Victim Melita Jaric on Life Support at Ryder Trauma Center

"We have no idea if she's going to make it. She was brilliant,” her sister said

By Gilma Avalos
|  Saturday, Mar 9, 2013  |  Updated 6:56 PM EDT
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Melita Jaric, 43, was on life support Saturday, a day after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Southwest 11th Street. Her sister Natasha Jaric and Florida International University Professor Giri Narasimhan spoke about her.

Melita Jaric, 43, was on life support Saturday, a day after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Southwest 11th Street. Her sister Natasha Jaric and Florida International University Professor Giri Narasimhan spoke about her.

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The hit-and-run victim, identified as Melita Jaric, was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Unit in critical condition. Neighbor Lee Feinberg and Miami-Dade Police spokesman Detective Javier Baez spoke about the case.

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A 43-year-old hit-and-run victim was on life support at Ryder Trauma Center Saturday, a day after she was struck on Southwest 11th Street.

Melita Jaric, a world traveler who is fluent in multiple languages, was pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science at Florida International University, her sister Natasha Jaric said.

"We have no idea if she's going to make it. She was brilliant,” she said.

Melita Jaric was crossing the street to get to her car on the 4200 block of Southwest 11th Street Friday at about 4 p.m. when an unknown driver struck her and then fled, Miami-Dade Police said.

"That person doesn't even stop to help. She was left at the site bleeding – she lost quite a bit of blood,” her sister said. “Because she wasn't treated and because her whole face is fractured, she could not breathe.”

Natasha Jaric said losing oxygen for a long period of time caused her sister's brain to swell and cause severe damage to her system.

She had left her home to run an errand Friday.

"She cheerfully ran out of the house, told her roommate, I’ll be back in five minutes, I'm just going to grab toilet paper at Walgreens,” Natasha Jaric said.

Melita Jaric’s promising career led her to participate in important research at FIU about COPD, a common lung disease. One of her professors said she was a special student.

"Things have been going very well,” Giri Narasimhan of FIU said. “This accident is a major blow to all of us."

Police do not have a description of the vehicle or the driver – leaving Jaric's heartbroken family to beg the community to help.

"It’s just devastating that someone could do this that I just wish someone would come forward, for our sanity and that of Miami,” Natasha Jaric said.

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