CHP searching for SUV & woman who fled after fatally striking girl walking to school
SAN BERNARDINO — Authorities are searching for a woman they say fatally struck a 14-year-old girl while she was walking in a marked San Bernardino cross walk, Friday morning, Sept. 28. The teen was walking to her classes at Pacific High School and was crossing Pacific St. at Glasgow Ave. when the deadly hit and run happened.
Grieving family members later identified 14-year-old, Jade Maldonado, as the victim killed in the hit and run collision.
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
California Highway Patrol and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the intersection about 7:10 a.m., after receiving multiple reports of an SUV that had struck a juvenile.
When officials arrived they found the young victim down in the roadway, with several witnesses and good Samaritans trying to comfort the mortally injured teen. According to witnesses, although Maldonado sustained major, life-threatening injuries, she was initially alert and tried several times to get up, while complaining that she could not breathe.
The young victim reportedly lost consciousness a few moments later and was rushed to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where she later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased at 1:26 p.m.
During their subsequent investigation CHP learned a female driver of a tan older model GMC SUV was traveling eastbound on Pacific St., approaching Glasgow Ave., just before the deadly collision.
According to multiple witnesses, the SUV was traveling in the number two lane and Maldonado was crossing Pacific St. inside the marked cross walk when the SUV first struck the victim, before running her body over.
Witnesses estimated the SUV was traveling about 40 to 50 mph when she struck the girl.
After driving over and crushing the victim, the driver did not slow down, stop, or attempt to render aid, and immediately fled the area. Two high schools and an elementary school are all located on the short stretch of Pacific St. where the deadly hit and run happened.
“The driver of the SUV failed to yield the right of way for the pedestrian and struck her,” CHP later said in a social media release pleading for information about the suspected hit and run driver.
The woman driving the SUV has been described as Black or Hispanic, wearing eyeglasses, with brown hair. She was also described by witnesses as “heavy-set.” Some witnesses also reported a male passenger was inside the SUV at the time of the fatal collision.
CHP later obtained and released surveillance video and images of the SUV they say hit Maldonado and officials are pleading with the public for information about the vehicle and its driver.
SEE RELATED UPDATE: Woman, 55, arrested after fatally running down girl, 14, fleeing scene
A public memorial in honor of Maldonado’s young life is scheduled for later today at 6 p.m., at Pacific High School, at 1020 Pacific St.
Maldonado’s family has established a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds for funeral costs and other expenses. The fundraiser had raised nearly $4,500 after its first 20 hours.
Anyone who may have witnessed the collision or who has information regarding the alleged suspect is encouraged to contact Officer Brewer at the San Bernardino CHP Office at (909) 383-4247. Callers can remain anonymous.
This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.
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Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.