Police question suspect in fatal hit and run

March 26, 2010 3:53:10 PM PDT
Investigators are questioning a woman who they suspect of being behind the wheel during a hit-and-run accident and leaving the scene as the little girl was dying. We first told you about the accident on Monday when an eight-year-old girl was injured after running into the street at Bear Creek Park. She passed away on Tuesday.

The driver who hit the girl initially stopped, but then left. Though she fled the scene, she is now a suspect and could soon be charged. Her SUV has also been impounded as investigators search for evidence.

Locked up behind a fence at HPD's impound lot sits a white Mitsubishi Montero. It's been processed for forensic evidence after being involved in a hit-and-run accident at Bear Creek Park and the driver is now named a suspect.

It was Monday night when Destiny Garcia, 8, was walking with her mother and darted out into the street. She was run over and later succumbed to her injuries in the hospital. Parents at the park today say it's still hard to understand.

"Being a mom, I couldn't imagine what she was thinking or what she was doing. Why you would leave an injured child in the street like that?" said Eileen Teasdale.

HPD investigators have also named the female driver that night a suspect. Eyewitnesses reported to police that once she hit the child, she stopped, got out of her car and said "It's not my fault," then drove off.

Despite fleeing the scene that night, the driver contacted police the next day through her attorney.

"She apparently was feeling remorse over what happened and wanted to make a statement," said Captain Bill Staney with the HPD Vehicular Crimes Division.

Since the child for some reason ran into the street, police say the driver would not have faced any charges had she stayed at the scene that night.

"That's what makes this incident a crime: her failure to stop and render aid, make sure that help is on the way and providing her identification for our investigation," said Capt. Staney.

Several mothers say someone running from an accident scene needs to be held accountable.

"Justice will hopefully be served," said Teasdale.

When asked why she would run from the scene, she told investigators she thought someone else was already helping the child. Investigators anticipate being able to file a charge of failure to stop and render aid sometime next week.


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