JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 5-year-old girl has been hospitalized after being hit by a car Monday morning near the intersection of Ricker Road and Windell Drive, according to Jacksonville Fire Rescue.
It happened just after 8 a.m. not far from Gregory Drive Elementary School.
Family members said the little girl, Amariah "Bella" Davenport, has a skull fracture, bruised lung, compound fracture to her right leg and severe abrasions. She has been moved to Wolfson Children's Hospital for surgery to her leg and skull, they said.
The skull surgery is considered major and will have to wait until her brain swelling goes down to avoid leakage. Surgery for her leg is scheduled for Wednesday.
James Jandy said he could hardly believe what he was witnessing as Amariah darted across the road, trying to get to school. Family members said Amariah was walking with her 20-year-old brother, and in just a split second, she let go of his hand.
"My daughter says it's the scariest thing she's ever seen," Jandy said. "They were about to cross the road, but they decided not to. A car slowed down beside them, and the little girl ran around the car to the other side of the road, and the lady didn't see the little girl and hit her."
Witnesses said the car was going about 30 miles per hour. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating and has not released information about the driver, who has not been cited for any violations.
Witnesses said both drivers stopped and Amariah's brother immediately moved her out of the road.
"I was praying and thanking God it wasn't me, that I didn't get hit by a car walking to school," said Stormy Kelm, who saw the accident. "It was just scary."
When school let out Monday, parents watched their children closely as they navigated Gregory Drive and Ricker Road by themselves. Parents said they want crossing guards in their neighborhood to ensure the safety of their children, so they don't have to cross the street by themselves.
"I heard it, because I live here, but the cars are flying down here all the time," parent Catherine Pine said. "They need a crossing guard here."
To request a crossing guard in a neighborhood, parents can call the JSO non-emergency line at 904-630-0500. Officers will look into it and decide if a crossing guard is needed in the area.