Fruit vendor in coma after SUV slams into cart in IE; driver charged with attempted murder

Jessica De Nova Image
Saturday, October 17, 2020
IE fruit vendor in coma after car plows through cart
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A fruit vendor, who is also a mother of four, is in a coma after a car plowed through her cart in San Bernardino. Authorities believe the incident was intentional and have arrested one man.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- A fruit vendor is clinging to life in a coma after an SUV plowed through her cart in San Bernardino and the driver behind the wheel has been charged with attempted murder.

Video shows the moment Marlen Benitez, a 28-year-old mother of four, was hit by a dark Chevy Tahoe Tuesday afternoon while she was working near the Walmart on Highland Avenue.

Prosecutors with the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office say Robert Lee Spargo, 42, of Fontana intentionally hit Benitez, leaving her in critical condition. The cart was completely destroyed and another car was damaged in the incident.

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The victim's brother-in-law, Alejandro Isabel, says it can't be seen as an accident because it truly was a crime. Witnesses told the vendor's family that Spargo tried to run away on foot but two people held him there for police.

Isabel describes Benitez as a friendly and good person who always worked hard for her family.

Benitez's family says the tragic incident has hit the family hard and they have set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses.

Anyone with information is urged to contact detectives at (909) 384- 5655.

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