Make your home page

‘I want to see justice’: Teacher injured in hit-and-run recalls scene

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A woman accused of critically injuring an Indianapolis kindergarten teacher in a May 7 hit-and-run did not show up for her Thursday court appearance. 

A warrant for Juana Loa-Nunez was issued July 13. According to court records, after Loa-Nunez did not appear in court Thursday afternoon for a final pretrial conference, the court said a warrant against her was still place. Immigration officials in May said Loa-Nunez was in the country illegally.

The 36-year-old Mexican woman is accused of striking 27-year-old teacher Jessica Parks while Parks crossed a street on her way to school. Police say several motorists chased Loa-Nunez’s car and boxed it in to prevent her from fleeing further.

School bus driver and co-worker Van Wilson said he saw Parks take two steps off the sidewalk onto 38th Street when a woman in a light-colored Nissan sedan struck her, knocking her onto the car and to the street. Wilson said his coworker struggled to the sidewalk, and the driver took off. 

WISH-TV’s Jenny Dreasler spoke to Parks for the first time about the incident Thursday.

“When she hit me, I flew on top of her car and while she was still driving, she did a quick pause, and I flew into the air onto the street,” recalled Parks. “I crawled from the street to the sidewalk.” 

When Loa-Nunez bonded out of the Marion County Jail, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail, had not notified the agency of the release. A county spokesperson in Marion County told News 8 that the county notified ICE of a four-hour window to bring in Loa-Nunez, and that ICE did not act. 

“I want to see justice,” Parks said. “I feel like between Marion County, the judicial system as well as [ICE], I felt like they failed. They could have done better. Instead of letting her go, they should have kept her until the final court date. I feel like they failed. The system has failed.”

Parks suffered a broken leg and other injuries. The crash also left her with $82,000 worth of medical bills.

“I’m not angry with her. I do forgive her. But I do want her to know the trauma that she caused me. Every day. Some days are harder than others. It’s by God’s grace that I get through and his strength that helps me to get through.”

Parks says she’s grateful to be alive and for the strangers who rushed to her aid. 

While police continue to search for Loa-Nunez, Parks is hopeful justice will eventually be served and her months long saga will end.

“There is still hope,” said Parks. “Yes, some days seem difficult than others. But there is still hope, and at the end of the day, God is going to take care of it.”

Crime Map
Use Search Bars Above To Search Crime Data