Reporting Andrea Menniti
MANTECA (CBS13) — A Manteca girl was struck by a car in a hit-and-run incident walking across the street with her cousin.
Nikka Perez and her cousin, Alejandro Vargas, were almost to the other side of the street when the crash happened. The driver was eventually arrested.
Now the 11-year-old is bedridden at the hospital after the driver slammed into her just a block from her home.
“Sometimes I wish it would have been me instead of her,” Vargas said.
Vargas was only a few steps away when the driver of a pickup approached the crosswalk.
“I tried to reach for her and pull her out of the way, but it was a little bit too late. He was coming so fast that he hit her,” Vargas said.
Vargas suffered a minor leg fracture and scratches.
Perez was seriously hurt and will likely need two surgeries and a skin graft on her leg.
“I’m so angry at him,” Vargas said. “He knew what he did and took off.”
The family had already endured more pain than most could comprehend before this. Nikka’s older brother was killed in a car crash five years ago.
The family hopes the crash will raise awareness and prompt the city to install safety measures at the intersection.