6-year-old critical after hit and run

February 9, 2009 3:37:26 PM PST
A 6-year-old girl was struck by a car on Sunday, leaving her in critical condition. The driver fled the scene. The girl was hit at approximately 1:18 p.m. at the intersection of Jarvis and Wilshire Roads in Gloucester Township, New Jersey.

Police the driver who hit her is a blonde man in a light-colored sedan who, they say, hit 6-year-old Ateehma Jones and kept on going. The girl is in the pediatric intensive care unit at Cooper University Hospital in Camden.

"She wound up riding into that intersection and the vehicle hit her and slowed down, looked at the rest of the kids and just took off," said neighbor Tim Fleming.

Fleming's two children were riding bikes and scooters with Ateehma and her cousin on Wilshire Rd. in the Erial section of Gloucester Twp. about 1:15 Sunday afternoon.

That's when, he says, the 6-year-old was unable to stop her bicycle before she went through a stop sign and into traffic on Jarvis Road where she collided with a car.

Critically injured, the girl was airlifted to the hospital.

Now Gloucester Twp. Police are searching for a vehicle they describe as a light colored cream or white four-door sedan, possibly a GM or Toyota, which will likely have some damage to the drivers' side door, mirror or fender.

The driver is said to be a white male wth blonde hair.

Police found shattered glass at the scene and are examining the child's bike and clothing for any evidence that will lead them to the car and the driver.

"We have received several tips and reports from neighbors that this vehicle has been seen in the area and in the neighborhood on previous occassions," said Chief Ed SMith of Gloucester Township Police.

Family members, including Ateehma Jones' grandmother, declined to comment.

Tim Fleming says the victim and his children had all just returned from services at Solid Rock Baptist Church in Berlin and were still dressed in their Sunday clothes when the accident occurred.

He says he and his neighbors are angry, and wondering how anyone could leave an injured child lying in the road.

"The people around here would like to get ahold of him before the police do to be honest with you because... total disregard for a 6-year-old girl. There is no excuse for that."

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the striking vehicle is urged to contact the Gloucester Township Police Department at (856) 228-4500.

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