RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — An event Friday was held in Riverside to collect funds to help pay the medical expenses of a little girl critically injured in a hit-and-run accident.
The fundraiser for 5-year-old Carlie Rodriguez was held at Adams Motorsports on 24th Street.
A portion of the proceeds collected from the event were expected to go toward the child’s medical costs, which her family estimated could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“The community just stepped up. I’m very proud of Riverside for that,” Jodi Kapturkiewicz, a family friend, told CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold. “Everybody right there in that area just wanted to help and this is a baby. You don’t want this to happen to anyone’s child.”
The accident on April 22, left Rodriguez seriously injured. She reportedly came out a coma just days ago.
“She’s puckering up her lips to give me a kiss now. She’s moving more and more each day,” Carlie’s father, Aaron Rodriguez, said. “She’s just doing amazing. I can’t thank God enough.”
The suspect has since been identified by authorities as 20-year-old Ricardo Gamez of Oceanside.
Police said Gamez was arrested several days after the accident on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.
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