Police responded to the scene of the fatal crash around 8:40 p.m. in the 7100 block of South Gessner near Neff.
Police believe a pickup truck was speeding when a Camry was trying to cross the road.
Authorities believe the driver of the Camry thought they had ample time to cross the street while sitting at a stop sign on Neff.
Due to the pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed, the truck crashed into the Camry as it attempted to stop, police said.
Authorities said the child, believed to have been an 8- or 9-year-old girl, and the driver were ejected from the car. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.
"It's totally unfair. No fault of their own," said Sean Teare, the chief of vehicular crimes with the district attorney's office. "This individual didn't even have the compassion to stay and make sure they were OK or call police."
Teare said witnesses saw the driver of the pickup get out of the vehicle looking disoriented.
"We're concerned about the driver's health," Teare said.
Authorities said they believe the driver fled on foot, and are looking for a Hispanic man around 20 to 25 years old.
Teare said alcohol likely played a role in the crash.
"We're talking about a young lady, 8-or 9-year-old girl, who was just four hours from experiencing Christmas, and now she's dead. There's nothing that brings it home more than that. We're talking about a family, who, at the very least, is not going to have someone who likely still believes in the magic of Christmas," Teare said. "This very well could be a parent. We don't know that yet. This one is very tragic."
Police had not yet determined how the adult and the child were related.
Mid West and VCD are at a fatal crash 7100 South Gessner. Two fatalities at the scene. Driver of the other vehicle fled the scene. 202 pic.twitter.com/MQC1TXYXbk— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) December 25, 2021