5-year-old recovering after being hit by car

Little girl undergoes reconstructive surgery

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Last week, 5-year-old Amariah Davenport was seriously hurt after she was hit by a car while crossing Ricker Road on the Westside while walking to school with her older brother.

Her mother said that though Amariah is recovering, she is quite sad. She's only five and she's been confined to her hospital bed after having surgery on her skull and her leg.

In hindsight though, her mother said that more than anything, she's thankful that the car 10 times her size didn't kill her on impact. 

"She had orthopedic surgery on her leg. She had to have cranial maxillofacial surgery for her face where (they) basically had to go in and (take) a portion of her forehead off and took a portion of her sinus cranial cavity, rebuild that, and put everything back and put her face back on," Earnesta Davenport, Amariah's mother, said.

James Jandy said he could hardly believe what he was witnessing as Amariah darted across the road, trying to get to school. Police 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 mph. 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."

Earnesta Davenport said that the guilt of the accident weighs heavily on her brother who blames himself for what police said was an accident.

"He's not sleeping, he's upset. When it happened all he could say was "mom I'm sorry, I'm sorry.""

Earnesta Davenport, who doesn't blame her son in any way, said she never heard from the driver of the car who could have killed her daughter unintentionally.

Doctors said Amariah Davenport might have permanent brain damage or even worse, but most of all, Earnesta Davenport is overjoyed that her little girl will slowly recover.

"She's alive. I can thank God she is alive. She's breathing, she's alive," Earnesta Davenport said.

The road to recovery for Amariah Davenport will be a long one. She'll be in a cast for 6-8 weeks and her skull won't completely heal for at least 12 weeks.

After the accident, when school let out, parents watched their children closely as they navigated the intersection where the accident happened. 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.

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