SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Officers have released more information on the Wednesday night incident where a girl who ran out onto Business 80 was struck and killed by a car.
According to California Highway Patrol, around 9:50 p.m., a 12-year-old Sacramento girl, Kendra Czekaj, had run onto the freeway near the Watt Avenue overcrossing. It appears that the girl followed a 16-year-old girl who had also run across the freeway and was standing in the center median.
A driver heading northbound on Business 80 (also known as State Route 51) was unable to avoid hitting the 12-year-old when she ran out in front of the car.
An off-duty doctor and passing ambulance both stopped to help the girl, but she was soon pronounced dead at the scene by medics. The driver of the car stayed at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation, CHP says.
The 12-year-old girl killed had come from the nearby Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento off Auburn Boulevard, authorities have said.
In a written statement released on Thursday, the home said they were devastated by the incident. They also explained that, by law, they cannot lock children onto campus to keep them from leaving.
The full statement from Chief Executive David Ballard is below:
“The entire Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento community is devastated by the tragic death on I-80 last night of a youth placed in our temporary shelter care facility. By law, CRH (as well as other residential facilities for foster children/youth) is not permitted to lock children onto campus to prevent them from leaving. Staff is required to follow youth when they leave campus to try to persuade them to return, and CRH did so last night.
Because the youth we serve are protected by confidentiality laws, we cannot make further comment at this time. If we are able to make a later statement, we will alert you.
Since 1944, CRH has been dedicated to positively impacting the lives of children, youth and families affected by abuse, neglect, behavioral health issues and trauma in California. We are committed to this mandate to provide sanctuary, hope and healing to vulnerable youth with nowhere else to turn.”