Crime & Public Safety

Woman pinned between vehicles at Bluffton gas station is suing the driver, 2 others

A Beaufort County woman who was seriously injured after being pinned between two vehicles at a Bluffton gas station late last month filed suit on Friday against a pickup truck driver and two other people, according to Jasper County court documents.

While the woman was driving through the four-way intersection near Nickle Pumpers in Old Town on Oct. 24, her white Nissan was sideswiped by an unknown driver who fled the scene, the lawsuit says.

She then pulled into Nickel Pumpers, where a pickup truck driven by Hardeeville resident Aurelio Villa-Martinez backed into her, “crushing her body between his vehicle and her vehicle,” the suit says.

Villa-Martinez allegedly left the scene without checking on the woman or calling 911.

Aurelio Villa-Martinez Bluffton Police Department

Surveillance footage at the gas station recorded the incident, and police obtained an arrest warrant for Villa-Martinez on charges of leaving the scene of a collision with great bodily injury, The Island Packet previously reported. He has not been arrested.

While police were still on the scene at Nickle Pumpers, a woman, Mireya Ramirez-Guzman, returned in the pickup.

Ramirez-Guzman told police she owns the truck and that her boyfriend, Villa-Martinez, called her and “told her he had done something very bad at the Nickel Pumper gas station” and that he’d leave her truck at another close-by gas station so she could pick it up, a police report on the incident said.

The victim is suing Villa-Martinez, Ramirez-Guzman, and the unknown driver (named John Doe in the lawsuit), asking the court to award her actual and punitive damages.

The suit says that, because of the collisions, the victim suffered property damage, physical harm and injuries that will cause her to have physical pain and emotional distress in the future, including a permanent disability.

Lana Ferguson has reported on a smorgasbord of news for The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette since June 2018. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the college’s daily newspaper.
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