A preliminary hearing for a woman accused of striking an elementary school student with a car and then fleeing the scene began Wednesday morning.
Courtney Webber has pleaded not guilty to four charges, including felony hit-and-run, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license following a 2016 drunken driving conviction.
On the night of Oct. 4, 2018, the El Cajon Police Department (ECPD) arrested Webber after receiving a tip she reportedly struck then-9-year-old Hassan Haidar that morning.
Haidar was hit near the intersection of North Sunshine Avenue and West Main Street while riding his bicycle to Johnson Elementary School at about 7:30 a.m., ECPD said. He was riding his bike through the intersection on a green light.
"I feel sorry for her, I feel sorry. But also, I feel hurt because she hit him and ran away. She didn't stop. She just hit him and ran away," said Haidar's mother, Nadia Kadad.
Haidar was taken to Rady Children's Hospital with broken bones and spinal injuries.
He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. After 27 days in the hospital, Haidar returned to school part-time.
Andrew Abdulahad took the stand during the Wednesday hearing. Prosecutors said he saw the whole thing.
"I thought [the car] hit a sign at first – one of those construction worker signs, but I later realized that it was a little boy who had just rode his bike past me," Abdulahad said.
Another witness, Tom Mascari, said he saw Haidar's bike fly 10 feet in the air and his backpack explode with debris after the alleged collision.
"You're just in a state of shock. You're like, 'This woman just plowed into somebody,'" Mascari said. "She must have hit him going 30, 35 miles per hour. She just never slowed down at the intersection and kept going."
ECPD found hotel security cameras that showed the suspected car, a blue Honda Fit, moments before the crash.
At 9 p.m., officers arrived at Webber's Lakeside home where a blue Honda Fit was parked outside.
After a brief standoff, ECPD found Webber hiding under a bed and arrested her.
If Weber stands trial after the preliminary hearing and is convicted, she could face up to four years in prison.