Winter break ends tragically for Montgomery County family

January 3, 2012 2:01:55 AM PST
The winter break has ended tragically for one Montgomery County family.

A 3-year-old girl is dead. Her 12-year-old brother was supposed to be watching her when she was hit and killed Monday afternoon. And the person who hit her is 21 years old. She didn't know what had happened until it was all over.

It happened around 4pm. State troopers tell us the girl was playing in a ditch on the side of the road along East Legends Trail in southeast Montgomery County when she darted out in front of an SUV.

The SUV had just made a turn after stopping at a stop sign. The driver never saw the girl and authorities believe she was obscured because of where she was playing.

"It's approximately a 3-and-a-half foot deep ditch," said Cpl. Michael Chapman with the Department of Public Safety. "The point where we were able to find footprints from the child, it was 2-and-a-half feet deep, so really it's hard to say the child was visible from the road or stop sign or anything like that."

Eyewitnesses told authorities the brother was outside at the time of the accident. And that's exactly what they think this was -- an accident, and not a crime, although, as is standard, they will refer the case to a Montgomery County grand jury so jurors can make the final decision.