Two young girls, aged 10 and 12, were struck and serious injured while walking on a sidewalk by a woman who told police she fell asleep at the wheel, San Diego Police said.
The incident happened at 6:02 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Santo Road near Shields Street when a woman driving a Toyota Tercel was heading northbound on Santo Road, San Diego Police Department Sgt. Leonard Flake said.
The driver, identified as 30-year-old Julianne Little, swerved off the road and hit the girls, who were walking on the east sidewalk, police said.
Little told police she fell asleep coming home from work, Flake said.
"A range of 15-20 minutes might’ve elapsed before she returned, believing she struck something and returned to the scene with her father, per what I’m told," Flake said. "As to her exact statement, that’s still under investigation, we’re still exploring what she may or may not have seen or been aware of at the collision."
The 12-year-old girl suffered serious but non life-threatening injuries; the 10-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries. The two girls have not been identified, though the 10-year-old's uncle told NBC 7 San Diego the girls are best friends. The 10-year-old's father is in the military and family members are coming from afar to be by the girls' side, the family said.
Little initially fled the scene; however, after driving home, police said, Little returned to the scene with her father. After an evaluation, she was arrested and charged with Felony Driving Under the Influence, Drugs and Felony Hit-and-Run Causing Great Bodily Injury, police said. She was booked into jail on $1 million bail.
Students in the area said Santo Road, which leads to a nearby school, said the road can often be dangerous for children walking to school.
"Coming up here, coming up here, pitch dark," said Hollis Stephens, a student, motioning to both sides of the road. "You see a car have to turn around and know the car is not going to hit you."
The crash is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
No further information was immediately available.