Young mother killed in hit and run

November 8, 2008 4:55:16 PM PST
One woman was killed and another arrested in a hit and run in Paterson, New Jersey, early Saturday.Police say 26-year-old Natalie Mestre, of Paterson, was killed in the incident, which apparently began with a fight. Now, 24-year-old Keema Green, who police say was driving with a suspended license, is charged with causing death by motor vehicle. Homicide or manslaughter charges could follow.

Mestre, a mother of two, died at Saint Joseph's Regional Medical Center. She apparently walked out of her home after hearing people yelling outside around 4 a.m. Her newborn baby and 9-year-old son never saw her again.

Fonda Murphy says it started as a fight between two groups of women. It ended with Mestre fighting for her life as the driver who hit her took off.

"Four of us was on the ground," Murphy said. "But we got up before she could run over us. But Natalie caught the bad end of the deal."

Witnesses say Mestre, a school security guard, had nothing to do with the fight. Police say Green was trying to flee the scene when she apparently hit Mestre and five others with her burgundy 1997 Mercury Mountaineer.

Some witnesses believe it was an accident and that Green did not intend to hit the crowd.

"It's crazy," witness Ronny Ron said. "You have a woman minding her own business. She got caught up."

Candles and notes sit perched on Godwin Avenue in Paterson, as friends and neighbors tried to cope with the loss of the young mother through thoughts and prayers.

"It's all the time, something is always going on," neighbor Alice Green said. "People don't live here, but they bring the drama. It should have never happened."

Teaneck police got an anonymous tip saying the driver was at Holy Name Hospital, where Green was arrested.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Carolina Leid

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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