An illegal alien who drove a car into a teenage girl, leaving her seriously injured, has been arrested in Mississippi.
David Hernandez, a Honduran national, was arrested late on Dec. 7 in Pass Christian, hours after he allegedly slammed into the girl in the downtown area during the annual Christmas in the Pass celebration.
Hernandez was charged with one felony count of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury.
“She had significant injuries at the time we got to her,” Pass Christian Police Chief Tim Hendricks said, reported The Sun Herald. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this time.”
It’s not clear if Hernandez was going to be charged with driving without a license since it would not be possible to obtain a legitimate license while being in the country illegally.
Witnesses described the vehicle that hit the girl while she was crossing Highway 90 and deputies with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office later spotted the vehicle several miles from the crash.
Police officers said that Hernandez barely spoke English and summoned immigration officials to help with questioning, reported The Sea Coast Echo.
He is being held at the Harrison County Jail on $200,000 bond and a hold has been placed on him by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. A blood sample was taken to determine if Hernandez was driving while impaired.
Pass Christian, with a population of around 4,600, is located about 22 miles southwest of Biloxi along the Gulf Coast.
Anyone who has information of the incident, especially witnesses, should contact the Pass Christian police at 228-452-3301 or call Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898.
The teenage girl was identified by family members as Julia Usprich, 14.
They said that the impact of the vehicle cracked her skull, broke both her legs, bruised her lungs, and caused other injuries.
Doctors had to perform emergency surgery on Friday to reduce the swelling in her brain and multiple other surgeries within the next few days.
“I cannot thank everybody enough for their prayers and what they are doing to help,” Jeana Weiss, the girl’s great-aunt, told The Sun-Herald. “I’m just really believing God will grant us a miracle.”
Weiss slammed the driver for taking off without checking the victim.
“Obviously, he was more interested in getting away than anything else,” Weiss said.
Usprich was flown to an Alabama trauma center for treatment.
“Needless to say, Julia will have a very long road to recovery,” the family wrote on a GoFundMe fundraising page. “All donations are greatly appreciated and will help with covering the extensive hospital costs.”
The page described the teen as being “beautiful both inside and out.”
“She is intelligent, loves to draw, is in the band at school and enjoys anime,” it added. “She has already lived a life that has been hard to imagine. In October of 2017, Julia and her twin brother suddenly lost their mother to a heart attack. Only 2 years earlier their dad passed away. Since October 2017, the twins are being raised by Daniel (their cousin) and my sister, Tracie.”
From NTD News