MODESTO (CBS13) — A 12-year-old girl has died after a hit-and-run involving a DUI suspect in Modesto on Sunday evening.
Modesto police say a family of four was in a car making a left turn from Plaza Parkway to southbound Sisk Road when they were broadsided by another vehicle that ran a red light.
The suspect driver, identified as 45-year-old Modesto resident Kelley Ball, immediately got out after the crash and ran into a Walmart nearby. Inside, police say she tried to steal a face mask and some shoes; she was eventually arrested by officers.
“We had witnesses that called in a description of her and followed her and explained to us where she was at the store. When we got to the store she was trying to get a face mask and shoes and we took her into custody,” said Sharon Bear, Modesto Police Public Information Officer.
Antonio Solorio was driving behind Ball moments before the crash.
“She just drove into traffic, like there was nobody driving. Like she had the road to herself,” he explained.
After they nearly crashed, Solorio said he saw Ball speed down the street, run a red light, and crash into the family of four.
“I was thinking, ‘What’s wrong with this person?’ and as she got closer and closer to the light, I was like ‘No, no, no, no, no’ and then bam, it happened,” he said.
Solorio immediately got out of his truck to help. He said two women who witnessed the crash and appeared to have medical training tried to help as well.
“They knew what they were doing. One said ‘She is coding, she is coding.’ She said ‘help me pick her up, help me pick her up,'” Solorio said.
The women helped to perform CPR on the 12-year-old before emergency crews arrived, according to Solorio. He said he spoke to the mother in Spanish to try to keep her calm.
“I kept telling her ‘It’s okay, don’t worry.’ And she kept asking me, ‘Is she bleeding, is she bleeding?’ It was so much to take in,” he explained.
According to Bear, investigators believe Ball was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash.
“She has done this before. I don’t know what her cognitive state was but she was aware enough to run and to know she had done something wrong,” Bear said.
Officers say the 12-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 15-year-old brother was airlifted to a Bay Area hospital with major injuries, while her father was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. Her mother was also taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Solorio said he wished he could have saved the girl.
“If I hadn’t stopped, me and her [Ball] would have collided. I really wish me and her would have collided, cause I really honestly think that young lady would have been alive,” he said.
Police say Ball had previous DUI convictions. She was booked into jail and is now facing charges of homicide, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony hit-and-run, vandalism and felony DUI.