A 2-year-old girl died Saturday after she was hit by a car in rural Fauquier County, Virginia, and the driver fled.
The toddler, named Aubree-Ann, wandered out of her grandmother’s yard in Opal, outside Warrenton, her devastated mother, Kassandra, said Monday. She was too upset to speak on camera but said she and her daughter were visiting from Richmond. Aubree-Ann was born premature at just 27 weeks and had fought hard to be here, her mother said.
The driver who hit Aubree-Ann turned himself in on Sunday. Jose Santiago Mendoza, 65, of Bladensburg, Maryland, was charged with hit-and-run resulting in death or injury.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 9400 block of James Madison Highway for a report of a pedestrian struck. When they arrived, they found drivers trying to help the child in the roadway.
Aubree-Ann was taken to a hospital, where she died. The driver who hit her was nowhere to be found.
The sheriff’s department put out a warrant for the suspect. He turned himself in the following day and was held without bond. The driver should have just stopped, Sgt. Steve Lewis said.
“Pull over, stop on the shoulder and call 911. I mean, don't run. Don't run from the situation,” he said.
Officials asked anyone with images of the crash not to share them online, out of respect for the family. Anyone with information that could be helpful to the investigation is asked to contact the sheriff’s office.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.