A 6-year-old Laie girl is recovering tonight after police say she was struck by a car while riding her bike outside her home around 6:15 p.m. Friday.
Police say they are still looking for the driver who fled the scene.
Olivia Numanga was riding her bike with some friends outside her Puuahi Street home just before sunset on Friday.
Olivia’s friend recalled what happened.
“We were playing but we couldn’t see the car come straight and then when we looked this way we saw Olivia get hit by the car,” her friend and neighbor said.
The 7-year-old friend said the car was driving fast and she couldn’t get a good look at the person. She said the car was white with no decal and no stickers.
Police say the driver stopped briefly after hitting Olivia, then took off when others ran to help Olivia.
“It hit her and it kept on going and it went that way,” Olivia’s friend said as she pointed towards Iosepa Street. Police say the car turned right onto Iosepa before fleeing.
Olivia’s mother and sister rushed to Olivia’s side and called 9-1-1.
Olivia was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Her father said she had surgery this morning for a broken femur.
She also suffered a small head fracture, and although she has some bleeding in her brain, he said doctors say her head trauma is not severe.
In the latest update from her father, at 6 p.m., he said “Olivia is breathing on her own. The ventilator and neck brace has been removed. The neurologist asked Olivia to follow instructions and she did it. She is making good progress.”
The hit-and-run happened just one block from BYU in an area neighbors describe as safe with lots of kids around who play in the streets.
“Honestly, I was really steamed when I heard about it because I knew that it could have been my son,” said neighbor and friend Nina Blake.
She said it’s a tightknit community and everyone generally looks out for one another.
“People generally drive with caution especially the ones from here on this street,” she said.
“I really do hope and this brings awareness that no matter what town you go into please, please, please go by the speed limit and always expect for keiki to be on the road,” Blake added.
Olivia’s father and neighbors don’t believe the driver was from the area.
“There’s a lot of kids that play right there and because it’s not a main road, everyone knows when they come through they slow down,” explained Olivia’s father William.
“This person that came through obviously is not from our area and may have misjudged how fast they were going and didn’t slow down and could have avoided this whole situation,” he said.
Although the driver fled, the family had this to say:
“I hold no animosity or anger towards this person, this is an unfortunate situation. It has been traumatic for us as a family and I’m sure that person, it must be traumatic for them too.”
“Whoever he or she is, I’m not angry, this is an unfortunate situation that may have been avoided but we’re just grateful that our daughter is still with us today,” Numanga said.
“If there is something that comes out of this it’s to raise awareness and that’s to all us drivers, including myself, that I have to be careful when I drive on the road. If I’m able to educate others to be mindful of the road, to be mindful of kids—they’re little children, they don’t know everything we as adults know, so we just have to be extra careful,” he said.
Police are still looking for a white cross over type SUV and are asking any witnesses to call them.
The Numanga family says they are grateful for the community support and prayers for their daughter.