11-year-old girl injured in hit-and-run riding bike to school in Ave Maria

An 11-year-old girl was still in the hospital Thursday night after a driver hit her in Ave Maria in Collier County and left the scene.

She was riding her bike to school in the community when she was hit.

Brande Benavidez is angry someone hit her daughter with a car and never stopped.

“A person that just leaves a bleeding child on the street unconscious is just walking away with a citation?” Benavidez said.

Benavidez’s daughter, Alessandra, was with several classmates when she was hit.

“According to all witnesses that were there, she stops; they get out of the car to look at my daughter and assume that the person is coming back; they look to the right; the person flees the scene and completely leaves,” Benavidez said.

Carmen Gray told us she saw the whole thing while driving to work.

“She has long hair, and it, kind of like ‘The Matrix,’ the hair just wrapped around, and it took a moment to really understand what was going on,” Gray said. “She fell forward, and the car ran over her legs.”

Crash investigators say the driver eventually returned to the scene, but by then, first responders had already raced Alessandra to the hospital.

Now, Alessandra’s mom prays her daughter can go home soon.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office gave the driver a citation but said the crash is still under investigation. The driver must appear in court.

We spoke to a Naples lawyer who says, even if you return, leaving the scene of a crash is still a crime.

If the driver causes serious injuries, that person can be charged with a second-degree felony.

Reporter:Val Simpson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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