Police: Driver under the influence in death of 6-year-old girl in Upper Darby

ByGeorge Solis WPVI logo
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Arrest made in death of girl hit by driver in Upper Darby
Arrest made in death of girl hit by driver in Upper Darby. George Solis reports during Action News at 12:30 p.m. on May 14, 2019.

UPPER DARBY, Pa. (WPVI) -- Police have charged the driver who allegedly struck and killed a six-year-old girl in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania back in early March.

Fifty-three-year-old Darrin Forrest of Philadelphia is charged with homicide by vehicle in the death of 6-year-old Jennifer Portillo.

We want to warn you that the video may be considered graphic.

Tuesday morning, Upper Darby police showed a video of the moment they say Forrest backs right into the little girl.

"She's laying on the ground, the officers try to do CPR and try to revive her," said Superintendent Michael Chitwood of the Upper Darby Police Department.

The video shows him backing up and running right over Portillo, police say.

Police say Forrest admitted to them he had been drinking at two nearby bars before the accident. First, at Rudy's Tavern off Marshall Road, then at the Waterford Inn on Ludlow St.

On Tuesday, Forrest surrendered himself to police. He now faces charges related to the crime, including homicide by motor vehicle, homicide while drinking under the influence and involuntary manslaughter.

"What you got is a tragedy that could have been avoided period. We see it over and over and over again. And it doesn't matter if it is in Upper Darby or Philadelphia, the tragedy is alcohol and driving a vehicle don't play out," said Chitwood.

Authorities say Forrest's blood alcohol level test showed he was just over the legal limit. Blood work showed he was at .10. They say he was cooperative at the scene.

"This is very tragic and affected two families, not only Jennifer's but also Mr. Forrest's family," said Detective Matthew Rowles.

In court documents, its revealed police obtained a search warrant of Forrest's phone after the crash in which he sends a message to someone saying in part, "I think I hit a little girl, don't look like she's going to make it."

"When it came to burying the young girl, they wanted the little girl buried in Honduras. The family didn't go because they were afraid they couldn't get back into the county," added Superintendent Chitwood.

Police say one of the key parts of this case was awaiting the test results of the blood work, which they got just last week.

According to court documents, investigators determined Forrest's alertness at the time of the crash was "measurably impaired by alcohol."

Action News attempted to reach out to Forrest's attorney but have not heard back.

Online court records show he is being held at the Delaware County Prison on a $1 million bail.