Family of young girl critically injured in auto-pedestrian crash speaks

Posted at 3:10 PM, Mar 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-14 23:35:15-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A 5-year-old girl who fell on her scooter between two parked cars and then went to cross the street to reach her father was struck by the mirror of a car traveling down the road, and the young girl was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

The crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. in the area of 500 North Colorado Street (near 1340 West) in the Rose Park area, and the girl’s family has identified her as 5-year-old Andrea Martinez.

The young girl’s sister spoke about the accident.

“I saw her, that her face had blood, like all over it… she didn’t say nothing, her eyes were closed, and it looked like she could breathe, but I don’t know,” the girl’s older sister, Alex Torrez said. “…I just hope that she’s not hurt that bad.”

The girls’ mother, Tina Torrez, also spoke.

“I’m just trying to stay calm right now until we see what happens,” she said.

Dennis McGowan, Salt Lake City Police Department, said the girl fell while on her scooter and ended up between two cars parked on the side of the road. When she got up to cross the street to her nearby father, a car traveling down the road hit her. McGowan said, given the positioning of the parked cars, it would have been very tough for the driver, a 22-year-old woman, to see the young girl.

McGowan said Andrea’s father tried to stop her: “He told the youngster, ‘Hey, wait, no, don’t come over.’ But she was injured, ….and she was struck by the other car traveling westbound, struck by the side-view mirror.”

Police said it appears that the driver and victim never saw each other.

It was not clear how fast the car was going, but the posted speed limit is 25 mph. It is not clear if the driver will be cited in the crash, which McGowan said is still under investigation.

The roadway was blocked in that area as police investigated the crash.

Police said the point of impact was the vehicle’s mirror, and the girl’s sister tells FOX 13 News Andrea was unconscious but breathing and had blood on her face after the crash. Andrea was transported by ground ambulance to Primary Children’s Hospital and is listed as being in critical condition.

Residents who live in the area say speeding is a frequent problem.

"I've see it almost happen to a lot of kids all the time on this road," Tina Torrez said.

The police say that as summer approaches, even more children will be out and about, and drivers need to pay attention.

"Kids are unpredictable," McGowan said. "If you see children on the side of the road, then that's a clue that you need to slow down and try to anticipate what they are going to be doing."