Niagara Falls, N.Y. (WKBW) – Niagara Falls police said they have had more than 60 calls on a hit-and-run crash that killed Niagara Falls mother Nicole Rodriguez, 27, and injured her 7-year-old son. Now, one of those tips lead to the car and the suspect.
His name is Francis Maikranz, and police said he is the 55-year-old man accused of hitting and killing Rodriguez on Hyde Park Boulevard nine days ago. Rodriguez pushed her son out of the way, saving his life.
Authorities found Maikranz and his damaged vehicle at his Town of Niagara home Wednesday, just blocks from where the family of the victim lives. They then made an arrest. Nicole’s mother Dana Rivers had harsh words for Maikranz.
“He's a coward, he's a complete coward to run away and leave my grandson on the side of the road and my daughter in the state that she was in. No! No! I don't care if he would have turned himself in. I don't care at all, he should have stopped,” Rivers said.
Neighbor of the suspect Sharon Mantell said he was a good guy.
“Very surprised. Very, very shocked and surprised. Saddened, saddened he's a very nice person, a quiet, nice guy,” Mantell said.
Police said this so-called “nice guy” was seen in a surveillance video, speeding away from the scene of the accident. Authorities said when they caught up with him, Maikranz was already in the process of fixing his car. They found damaged and spare car parts in his home.
Maikranz is expected to be arraigned at 9 a.m.