FHP identifies driver who struck student near bus stop

The Florida Highway Patrol seized a red pickup truck suspected in the hit-and-run accident that seriously injured a South Fort Myers High School student waiting for her school bus Thursday morning in San Carlos Park.

NBC-2

The Florida Highway Patrol seized a red pickup truck suspected in the hit-and-run accident that seriously injured a South Fort Myers High School student waiting for her school bus Thursday morning in San Carlos Park.

Chelsie Dahlbeck

Chelsie Dahlbeck

Keisha Bien-Aime

NBC-2

Keisha Bien-Aime

Video from NBC-2

Nearly 12 hours after an early morning hit-and-run seriously injured a San Carlos Park teen, authorities say the driver called and turned herself in.

Now Chelsie Dahlbeck, 21, could face a felony charge of fleeing the scene of an accident with serious injuries.

Dahlbeck contacted investigators at about 5 p.m. Thursday and said she knew she hit something that morning, but wasn’t sure what it was, FHP Sgt. Dwayne Cooper said. Her call came around the time investigators received an anonymous email with a photo of a red pickup believed to be involved in the accident.

After leaving the scene of the accident near Sanibel Boulevard and Geranium Road, Dahlbeck drove about two minutes to her family’s home on Morgan Road.

“She wasn’t sure exactly what happened,” Cooper said.

Witnesses said the 6:05 a.m. accident sent 16-year-old Keisha Bien-Aime, who had been walking to her bus stop at the intersection, rolling down the street. It tossed her cellphone into a ditch and took off pieces of the red pickup that hit her.

The debris in the street matches Dahlbeck’s truck, which the FHP took into possession Friday morning, Cooper said. Although witnesses said it sped down the street, investigators believe Dahlbeck was driving between 20 mph and 25 mph.

Neither alcohol nor texting appear to be factors, authorities said.

Cooper said Dahlbeck and her family are cooperating with authorities, who want to interview Keisha before making an arrest.

A man at the Dahlbeck’s home declined comment Friday afternoon. Dahlbeck, a former Estero High School softball player, is now a catcher at Alcorn State University in Mississippi, where she is a junior.

Neighbors described the Dahlbeck family as hard workers and nice people who often open their pool to neighbors.

“I feel terrible for them,” Jaquelyn Hoppler said. “I feel terrible for the girl.”

Friday afternoon, Keisha was listed as in serious condition at Tampa General Hospital, where she was airlifted after the crash. Her older sister, Martine Calixte, said the South Fort Myers High School junior is making progress in recovering from a head injury, but doctors aren’t certain when she’ll walk again.

She also suffered a broken hip and back injury and needs surgery, Calixte said.

Calixte and Cooper said Keisha has been responding to questions with nods and shakes of her head. FHP investigators headed to Tampa on Friday to speak with her.

Keisha’s family questions why Dahlbeck drove away, Calixte said, but they forgive her.

“I just want my sister to be OK,” she said.

REPORTED EARLIER

Florida Highway Patrol authorities have identified a 21-year-old San Carlos Park woman as the suspected driver in Thursday's hit-and-run that seriously injured a teenage girl.

Chelsea Dahlbreek called FHP around 5 p.m. Thursday and said she struck something while driving on Sanibel Boulevard and Geranium Road at about 6 a.m. but did not know what it was, FHP Sgt. Dwayne Cooper said. Within the same time frame, FHP also received an anonymous email with a picture of a red pickup truck with front right side damage parked in a driveway.

Investigators went to the house Dahlbreek shares with her parents and took possession of the truck around 9 a.m. today.

Debris left in the street after the accident matches the truck, Cooper said.

Sixteen-year-old Keisha Bien-Aime was listed in serious condition at Tampa General Hospital, where she was airlifted after being struck while heading to her bus stop. Family said the South Fort Myers junior has a head injury.

Cooper said FHP plans to interview Keisha before making an arrest and troopers are headed to Tampa today. He expects to charge the driver with fleeing the scene of a hit and run involving serious injuries.

Dahlbreek has been cooperative and remorseful, he said.

EARLIER

The Florida Highway Patrol seized a red pickup truck suspected in the hit-and-run accident that seriously injured a South Fort Myers High School student waiting for her school bus Thursday morning in San Carlos Park.

Early Friday morning, a tip came in to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers about the location of the vehicle that fled the scene of the accident. Troopers hauled away a Toyota Tacoma pickup with front-end damage from 7547 Morgan Road shortly after 9 a.m.

The girl injured, Keisha Bien-Aime, 16, remains in serious condition at Tampa General Hospital.

See more photos and a video report from NBC2.

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