SANTA ANA ( — A 7-year-old girl was recovering from reconstructive surgery Wednesday after being seriously injured when she was struck and dragged by a hit-and-run driver in Santa Ana.

The incident happened Tuesday around 5 p.m. in an unmarked crosswalk in the 400 block of South Birch Street, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna from the Santa Ana Police Department.

Multiple security cameras caught a speeding black Toyota 4-Runner hit Evelyn Sanchez and then drag her about 15 to 30 feet before taking off.

“You can see him stepping on the brake lights. It’s apparent he should’ve known he hit somebody. He didn’t stop. He didn’t render aid,” said Bertagna.

Sanchez’s mother thought her daughter had died and has been at her side ever since the accident.

“‘It can’t be, Lord, not her.’ That’s what I said to God. I began to ask Him, and He’s the one who gave her back to me. Then I saw her moving,” Monica Villamizar said.

The victim’s sister, 8-year-old Jennifer Rios, was across the street when she heard the crash.

“I saw my little sister… she was on the street. And that’s when my mom went running and got her,” Rios said. “The car, instead of stopping, he just left.”

Sanchez was taken to Western Medical Center with injures to her head and body where she underwent two surgeries Wednesday night — one for her scalp and head and another to add an implant ear.

Villamizar said it is unknown whether her daughter will need any more surgeries.

Investigators are looking for the suspect’s car saying they expect it to have extensive front-end damage, especially to the right side.

Anyone who has seen the vehicle or has any information regarding the suspect or the incident is asked to contact the Santa Ana Police Department.


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