6-year-old hospitalized after hit and run

April 22, 2009 7:32:06 PM PDT
The incident happened around 7:00 pm Tuesday on Godfrey Avenue near 10th Street. Officials at the scene say the girl was either getting or was going to get ice cream from an ice cream truck when she was struck.

Witnesses say the woman was on her cell phone when she was involved in the tragic hit and run accident.

The 6-year-old's shoe landed in the middle of the intersection at Godfrey near Franklin just a few feet from the Mister Softee ice cream truck.

"The lady was going really really fast," said Jasmine Oates.

Witnesses say a woman in a dark colored compact car was going at a high rate of speed when she hit the little girl.

"Yeah she was talking on her cell phone," said Christina Oates.

Witnesses say after hitting the child the driver kept going.

"The lady was swerving all over the place to try and get around people to get away from what happened," Jasmine said.

Witnesses say shortly thereafter the lady made a u-turn, came back, and stopped and looked at the little girl lying on the ground and then sped off. That did allow witnesses to get her tag number and a description.

"Me and my sister we knew that she had a ponytail and black hair yeah so we knew that was her," said Christina.

For 12-year-old Christina witnessing the accident hits close to home.

"I got hit by a car before and I know how it feels and um I'm sorry for her."

Witnesses say the ice cream truck operator for some reason did not put out the stop sign of the truck to help warn motorists of children nearby.

Residents say this section of Godfrey between 5th and 10th has long been notorious for speeding motorists.

Meanwhile, the city's cell phone ban while driving that passed last week is still waiting for Mayor Michael Nutter's signature before it can take effect.

The little girl was rushed to the hospital in critical condition with severe head and leg injuries. She has since been upgraded to serious condition.

Police had taken a woman into custody, but after questioning she was released. The search continues for the hit and run driver.

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