Vigil planned for Apopka hit-and-run victim

An Apopka couple is mourning the loss of their teenaged son, after he was killed in a hit and run accident.  Josh Laws says he and his brother, Nate Hooks, were riding their bicycles to a store, when Hooks was suddenly hit by a car on Wednesday.  Investigators said it happened around 5 p.m. on Wednesday. 

Laws said he was right behind his brother when he was struck.  ‘We went to cross at the Wawa and look like she sped up. Clipped his back tire, threw him on the hood and drug him underneath for about 50 feet,’’ he said.  "After she hit the curb, she jumped out, asked if he was ok, screamed, 'Call 911!' and jumped back into the car and took off.”

Investigators said witnesses followed the driver.  Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrested 23-year-old Silvia Olvera. She told investigators she hit a puddle and couldn’t see.   Laws said there was no puddle. “I was on the ground next to him, holding his shoulder, telling him to wake up.”

Hooks, 15, later died at the hospital.  Investigators say Olvera’s charges will be upgraded to leaving the scene of a crash involving a death and driving on a suspended license.  According to court records Olvera  already had two prior convictions for driving on a suspended license.    

“I don’t think she intentionally hit him, but I don’t think she was paying attention,” said father Ronnie Laws.

Hooks was on the wrestling and weightlifting team at Apopka High School and enjoyed many other hobbies, according to his family. “He loved the outdoors, he loved fishing, hunting, playing video games. If you asked him to help, he was always there to help,” said Hook’s mother, Mindy.

Troopers say Olvera had three children in her car at the time of the incident.   “What if this was one of her own child. She would want them to stop. It don’t matter how bad they are or whatever, just stop,” Mindy added. 

A candlelight vigil will take place Saturday at 7 p.m.  at Dixie Highway and Maine Street.  Hook’s parents say everyone is invited, but to please wear his favorite colors of purple and camouflage.  The family has also established the Nathaniel Hooks Memorial Fund to help cover funeral expenses.