'She was not alone.' Good Samaritans tried to help Stratford hit-and-run victim

Arianna Malave and Roberto Rodriguez found Michelle Rodriguez, 19, on the road early Saturday morning near St. Michael's Cemetery on Stratford Avenue.

Frank Recchia and Rose Shannon

Jul 2, 2023, 4:55 PM

Updated 291 days ago

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Two good Samaritans who tried to help a young woman after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Stratford say they are sending love and support to her family.
Arianna Malave and Roberto Rodriguez found Michelle Rodriguez, 19, on the road early Saturday morning near St. Michael's Cemetery on Stratford Avenue.
Rodriguez is a truck driver and had just ended a long shift when they came upon the scene of the accident.
"At first, I saw something white directly in front of me and I was like, ‘what is that?’ Then I pulled over immediately and I told my wife -- is that a body in the road?" he said.
Malave, a health care worker, attempted to provide emergency aid to the young woman.
"All the training, everything I knew from 18 years, everything just came flooding into my head,” she said. "She looked helpless, and you could just tell she looked very, very young,” she said.
"I was constantly telling her, you know, that you're beautiful. I know your mom loves you," said Malave. "I just kept remaindering her of the fact that she needed to fight, that she needed to get home. She was young, she was not alone."
Despite the pair's efforts, Rodriguez died at Bridgeport Hospital.
Police say evidence at the scene led to the arrest of Troy Watley, 28, of Stratford. He faces several charges including negligent homicide with a motor vehicle. He is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Rodriguez's family with funeral expenses.


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