Santa Ana police searching for driver who struck 12-year-old girl walking to school

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Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Girl, 12, struck by hit-and-run driver while walking to school in OC
A hit-and-run driver struck a 12-year-old girl who was walking to school in Santa Ana, leaving her hospitalized with critical injuries, authorities said.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Santa Ana police are searching for a hit-and-run driver who struck a 12-year-old girl as she was walking to school on Wednesday, leaving her critically injured.

The girl was struck just before 8 a.m. at the intersection of McFadden Avenue and Newhope Street near Fitz Intermediate School.

The child was transported to a hospital in critical condition. By Wednesday afternoon, officials said she was out of surgery and listed in stable condition.

The driver remained at large after fleeing the scene.

Grisell Ramirez witnessed the collision. She was driving through the same intersection and says she had to swerve suddenly to avoid the girl. But the driver in the lane next to and slightly behind her apparently didn't see the girl and struck her.

"He was behind but in the next lane to me. He didn't see her. And run over her. But he didn't stop either," Ramirez said.

"He slowed down. It looked like he was gonna pull over. Then the next street he put his right signal on. Never saw him after that."

Santa Ana hit-and-run
Santa Ana police released this image of a blue vehicle that was being sought after a hit-and-run crash left a 12-year-old girl critically injured.

The vehicle involved in the collision is described as possibly a blue Honda with damage to the passenger side windshield that was last seen heading eastbound on McFadden Avenue, according to the Santa Ana Police Department. Authorities released a surveillance camera image of the car being sought.

"Because of how distinct the vehicle is, it's easily identifiable," said Natalie Garcia with Santa Ana police. "We're asking anyone with information to please contact us."