LANCASTER – An 11-year-old girl riding her bicycle to school Wednesday morning (Dec. 5) was knocked to the ground by a driver who left the scene, authorities said.
The incident happened shortly after 8 a.m. in front of Miller Elementary School, said Lancaster Station Community Relations deputy Michael Rust.
“[The girl] was in front of the school when she was hit by a woman who was dropping her child off,” Rust said. “The woman dropped the child off and fled.”
Rust said the girl got up, walked into the school and told staff members, who notified authorities. He said several people witnessed the hit and run.
“They basically described the little boy that she dropped off,” Rust said. “Deputies used school resources to get information on the little boy’s mom, and they did interview the little boy, which ultimately led them to a location in Palmdale where they contacted the driver.”
Rust said the 43-year-old woman is an unlicensed motorist with no insurance. She is now facing criminal charges.
“She could get several citations from being an unlicensed driver to some sort of criminal act for the hit and run,” Rust said. “We are unsure whether it will be a felony or misdemeanor, it will have to be based on the child’s injuries.”
The child, who suffered minor scratches and complained of pain, was airlifted to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to be examined, Rust said.
The woman has not yet been charged pending a report on the child’s condition.
“She is an unlicensed driver with no insurance, but that’s no excuse to leave the scene of something, that just makes it a lot worst,” Rust said. “Had she stayed there it might have been deemed a total accident.”
Updated 12/6/12 @ 2 pm: Driver will face felony hit-and-run charges
Sheriff’s officials said Thursday that the 11-year-old girl was examined at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and was found to have serious injuries.
The 43-year-old driver, who was cited and released on Wednesday, is now facing felony hit-and-run charges because of the child’s condition, said Lancaster Community Relations deputy Michael Rust.
“She was issued a citation with a court date for misdemeanor hit and run, and then this morning (Dec. 6), we found out that the child had some severe injuries,” Rust said. “So we’re presenting it to the district attorney as a felony hit and run. So when the lady does go to court, she will be facing felony hit and run charges.”
The driver, who remains out of custody, was also cited for driving without a license and driving without insurance, Rust said.
The child is expected to make a full recovery, Rust added.