MOUNT VERNON, Wash. — Mount Vernon police said a 16-year-old girl was critically hurt and taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Monday evening after being hit by a driver who then sped off.
“I couldn’t believe it was my daughter,” said her father Julio Resendiz, in an interview with KIRO 7. “I was hoping that it was just a bad dream.”
Resendiz said his daughter Lezly Resendiz-Garcia, a high school junior, was hit by the driver as she crossed a street while walking home in her neighborhood.
“Don’t leave,” said Resendiz. “Just take responsibility.”
Resendiz-Garcia suffered brain damage and, as of Tuesday night, was in a medically-induced coma after undergoing surgery, according to family, who said a GoFundMe had been created to help pay for the teen’s care and recovery.
“The brain was swollen,” said Resendiz. “[Doctors] believe she’s going to have a hard time speaking again.”
Mount Vernon police said the driver hit the girl at the intersection of N 35th Street and E College Way around 5:11 p.m. Monday.
Investigators said witnesses saw a white or silver Toyota Prius speeding away from the area. The driver initially turned north on N 35th Place, according to police, before turning around and driving away westbound on E College Way.
“She said she saw the car coming at a high speed,” said Resendiz, recalling what one witness reportedly saw. “From what I heard, he didn’t slow down or anything.”
Police said Tuesday afternoon that the driver and vehicle had been located. On Wednesday, police told KIRO 7 the driver is a 19-year-old man from the Mount Vernon area.
A formal arrest has not been made as police continue to investigate the case.
Investigators said in a news release they were not looking for any additional suspects.
Resendiz said his daughter faces a long and uncertain recovery ahead but family members remain hopeful.
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