A San Diego girl, struck by a car Saturday while she and her friend walked on a sidewalk, has died from her injuries, county officials reported Thursday.
Raquel Rosete, 10, was declared brain dead following the crash on Santo Road. The news was revealed during Wednesday's court hearing for the driver accused of hitting Rosete and 12-year-old Mekayla Lee.
The sidewalk memorial created where the girls were struck doubled in size within hours.
Neighbors left flowers, stuffed bears and prayers after hearing Rosete, despite her strength and zest for life, will never come home.
The girl was in critical condition since the crash occurred Saturday.
Rosete and Lee were struck as they walked north on Santo Road. A car jumped the curb, investigators said. Rosete landed on the hood and was carried for 60 feet before being thrown into a bush.
Driver Julianne Little, pleaded not guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter, hit and run.
The Rosete family, and Mekayla, now in a wheel chair recovering from here injuries, wore images of Raquel on their clothing when they attended Wednesday's hearing.
“It's hard for our family but I just want her family to know we are a family of God and we forgive her,” Raquel’s sister Jessica Rosete said.
It was only after the vehicular manslaughter charge was read in court that the rest of this close knit community would realize Rosete did not survive.
“I really thought she was going to pull through I really did,” neighbor Lindsey Emter said.
Murphy Canyon military housing neighbors were compelled to visit the site of the crash.
“Being in the military that really hits home when it is someone that you have that connection with,” Derek Emter said.
The Doris Miller Elementary school fifth grader went into cardiac arrest and suffered a traumatic brain injury. She was declared brain-dead and placed on life support Tuesday.
Classmates and parents were somewhere between anger and sadness.
“The way people drive out here. I am terrified to death to let my kids walk to school because of that,” parent Iris Campanile said.
Campanile’s daughter Jasmine wanted to speak but was overcome after only few words.
San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Marissa Bejarano described how Little was driving along Santo Road late Saturday when she veered into the bike path and onto the sidewalk, striking the girls.
Little, 30, was held on $1 million bail. While she was initially arrested on a DUI charge, prosecutors declined to file the charge until they receive toxicology results. .
After the crash, Little allegedly fled the scene and later returned with her father. She was arrested shortly after.
"When she did go home, she fled, meaning she went back home, she told her father she didn’t know what she hit, she told her mother that she believed she hit a brick wall and then later she gave statements to officers indicated she did hit two people," Bejarano said.
Little's attorney, Anthony Solare, said his client was devastated with what happened. Solare told media that Little fell asleep at the wheel just before the crash, exhausted from a stalker trying to contact her.
Solare said Little filed a petition against a man who apparently stalker her last March. He said his client feared for her life, causing her to fall asleep at the wheel as a result of sleep deprivation.