STOCKTON (CBS13) -– A 9-year-old Stockton girl has died as a result of injuries she sustained after being struck by a van and set on fire, UC Davis Medical Center confirmed on Friday.
The violent accident between the van and Julianna Radilla as she was pushing or riding a motorized bike Thursday night led to the girl’s clothes catching fire, authorities said.
The 9-year-old was crossing East Main Street near Highway 99 at 5:20 p.m. with her brothers and sisters when a Chevrolet Astro van crashed into her, dragging her for more than a block. Her mother was reportedly waiting on the other side of the intersection.
“The young girl was ejected and the motorcycle was lodged under the bumper of the van,” said CHP public information officer Angel Arceo.
First responders put out the flames and transported her by helicopter to UC Davis Medical Center.
“When she came out from underneath the van, she was on fire,” said a sobbing Rebecca Foutz, the girl’s aunt. “It was really bad.”
Foutz said Radilla lost oxygen to her brain and her mother had to make the excruciating decision to take her off life support.
“They let her go peacefully,” Foutz said.
The driver of the van, a 23-year-old Stockton woman, stopped after the accident and was questioned by authorities. It wasn’t immediately clear if she ran a red light at the intersection. An investigation into the incident will determine if she will face any charges.
“That’s going to determine everything, who had the right-of-way,” Arceo said.
The accident happened just feet from Julianna’s elementary school. Classmates placed heart-shaped notes at the crash site.
“I wish we could see her one last time,” one classmate said.
A vigil will be held for Julianna at the crash site at 7 p.m. Friday.