Child, 8, killed in hit-and-run wreck

March 23, 2010 8:50:52 PM PDT
It's been less than 24 hours since a driver hit an eight-year-old girl at Bear Creek Park. The driver left the scene, but not before a woman got out of the car to check on the little girl. The child was with her mother when the accident happened Monday night Destiny Garcia, 8, was in critical condition at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital for most of the day, before finally succumbing to her injuries. She died late Tuesday afternoon. Police say the driver who struck her is nowhere to be found.

As a mother, Tara Wood cherishes the quality time she spends with her daughter Violet. She couldn't think of a safer place to do it than Bear Creek Park.

"During the day it's really nice," she said. "It's a great area and I always see the constables patrolling and they keep a really good eye on everybody that's out here."

The peace and tranquility on this day is a stark contrast to the horror witnessed by several parents last night. An eight-year-old girl abruptly ran into the street and was hit by a car. What's more, police say a woman got out of the car to check on the injured girl, claimed it wasn't their fault, got back in the vehicle and left the scene. Destiny died a day later in the hospital.

"I'm horrified," said park visitor Andrea Mims. "I can't even imagine the disrespect for life that's happening today."

Witnesses couldn't tell police how fast the driver was going. The posted speed limit here is 25 miles an hour. Harris County Precinct 5 constables patrol the park on a regular basis. While Tara Wood says it's difficult to put into words what happened, she says that kind of behavior is not indicative of the people who use the park.

"You know, if something did happen they'd be able to stop and say, 'Yes, I did this, it's tragic. What now?' And things like that just didn't happen," Wood said.

We brought the concerns to Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack who told us, "When it comes to safety and traffic, we are always looking for ways to improve. Our parks do get congested and it's very difficult to make them 100 percent safe. We try to make it as safe as possible."

Police are looking for a white Mitsubishi Montero. According to park visitors, speed is a big problem and in some cases so is parking.


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