DALLAS - A man accused of running over a woman with his truck outside an Oak Cliff laundromat is asking the victim’s family for forgiveness.
Juan Carlos Velasquez is in jail charged with the crash that killed Maricruz Gonzalez-Cortes.
"I'm so sorry,” Velasquez said during an interview in the Dallas County Detention Center. “Forgive me, Lord. Forgive me. I'm so sorry, it was an accident. I didn't mean for this to happen.”
Velasquez was fighting back tears as he spoke from behind a glass window at the jail. He blames a mat on the floor of his truck for causing the accident. He said the mat shifted and got stuck under the brake.
"As I was backing out of the parking, when I tried to hit my brake, the truck just accelerated,” Velasquez said. “It just threw me."
Maricruz Gonzalez-Cortes, a 24-year-old wife and mother, was pinned under an SUV as she was loading clothes into a laundry basket in the parking lot. Surveillance video from a nearby business captured the crash.
Gonzalez-Cortes’ husband was nearby holding the couple’s one-year-old daughter in a car seat.
Velazquez tried explaining why he ran from the scene.
"I got so scared,” he said, “I don't know why I was running. I don't know. It scared me man. I never saw anything like this. Never in my whole life."
The accused man’s explanations are not going over well with Gonzalez-Cortes’ family.
"Well if he's scared, all of the family is in shock,” the woman’s sister, Yolanda, said.
Relatives say family and friends have been gathering in prayer since the accident. They have set up candles and a memorial in their home. They say the tragedy has been emotionally tough for the woman’s husband and toddler.
"She is calling, ‘Momma, momma,’ and she is crying a lot,” Yolanda Gonzalez explained.
Back in Dallas County Jail, Velazquez says he is depressed and dealing with recurring nightmares.
"Two families are destroyed,” Velasquez said. “I asked God, and I ask the victim's family for forgiveness."
Velasquez remains in jail on a $100,000 bond.
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