A 3-year-old girl is recovering after she was struck by a car while walking with her father in Fairfax County, Virginia, the family told our sister station, Telemundo 44. Her father thanked neighbors who helped rescue the girl, who became stuck under the striking vehicle.
Milton Linares said he and his daughter, Michelle, were heading to a bus stop last Wednesday in the 600 block of Madge Lane, in the Alexandria area, when a woman driving a Honda Civic was backing her car out of a parking spot and hit the girl.
“When I grabbed my daughter, the car had already stepped over half her body… the tires had passed over her stomach,” Linares said.
The father started screaming for help, and several people in the area rushed to assist him. Linares told T44 they helped him lift the car to get Michelle out from under it.
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“I don’t even know who helped me, but I’m so grateful. God bless you,” Linares said.
Michelle was hospitalized. Her father said she’s in pain, and doctors told him she’ll need months to recover.
"She's in a lot of pain. She can't stand moving, she has a broken foot, her back is all bruised. Her stomach is badly hurt. Her head," Linares said. "Without the morphine, she only screams from her pain, from her anguish."
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Fairfax County police are investigating the incident. They believe the driver lost control of the car after it started slipping over the icy road, Telemundo 44 reported.
As of Friday night, the driver had not been arrested. It was not immediately clear if she will face any charges.
The family is fundraising to pay for medical expenses.
Milton Linares recently immigrated from Honduras to the United States to "give his daughter a better life," he said. He hopes their case will serve as a warning to drivers to be more careful behind the wheel, especially during winter.
The D.C. area was hit last Monday with a snowstorm that dropped more than a foot of snow in some areas, leaving residents coping with power outages and poor road conditions.