A 3-year-old girl was killed and her mother seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident in Anaheim. (Photo: Orange County Register)
Pedestrian fatality: A 3-year-old girl was killed and her mother critically injured Wednesday when a stolen car struck them in an Anaheim crosswalk and fled the scene without even slowing down.
• A mother and her 3-year-old daughter were run over in a crosswalk by a speeding stolen car.
• The driver fled the scene.
• The little girl died. The mother is still hospitalized. Her condition has been upgraded from critical to serious but stable. She has multiple major injuries.
The deadly hit-and-run accident occurred at around 6 p.m., according to a report in the Orange County Register.
The California Highway Patrol said 26-year-old Lady Audree Rebecca Hernandez of Anaheim was pushing her 3-year-old daughter – Miranda Palacios – in a stroller when the accident happened. They were in the Gilbert Street crosswalk at Guinida Lane.
Witnesses told CBS News they saw a 1995 Nissan Maxima speeding northbound on Gilbert Street and honking its horn just moments before it struck down Hernandez and her daughter in the crosswalk.
Gloria and Jesse Gonzales, who live nearby, told the Register they heard the accident and ran outside to see if they could help. They found Hernandez and her daughter lying in the street. Clothing, stroller parts, and other debris were scattered all around them. A motorist had already stopped to try to help, but the little girl was unresponsive.
“She wasn’t breathing as I lay next to her,” Gloria Gonzales said.
Both of the victims had suffered catastrophic injuries. Paramedics rushed to the scene and took them to the Level II trauma unit at U.C. Irvine Medical Center. Both were in critical condition. The little girl died from her injuries not long after she arrived at the hospital.
Hernandez remained in the hospital. She was in serious but stable condition on Thursday. Her mother, Kim Kirby, said Hernandez had suffered multiple major injuries.
“She has multiple fractures,” Kirby told ABC News. “Her bones are crushed, her back is broken. She has multiple bleeds. They don’t even know what’s going to happen with her.”
The man who was driving the Nissan didn’t stop after he hit Hernandez and her daughter. He didn’t even slow down. He abandoned the car — which turned out to be stolen – several blocks away, near Lullaby Lane and Perdido Street. He fled the scene. Authorities searched for more than five hours, using bloodhounds and a helicopter, but did not find him.
Residents in the area where Hernandez and her daughter were run over expressed outrage after the tragic accident. They said they had been asking for a new crosswalk for a long time because that one is so dangerous. It is very poorly lit and has a history of accidents.
“We’ve witnessed more accidents than we need to,” Gloria Gonzales said. “When we run out, my children are crying because they don’t know what they’re going to see. We’re just devastated. This is really heartbreaking that this is what it’s going to take for the city to realize the importance of a crosswalk, a light.”
Anyone with information was asked to contact the California Highway Patrol at 714-892-4426 or 949-559-7888. Anonymous tips can be left through Orange County Crime Stoppers at www.occrimestoppers.org or 855-847-6227.
“We need somebody to come forward,” Kirby said. “Please, tell us. Somebody had to see something. We got to find out who did this.”
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