UPDATE: Girl in stable but critical condition after semi hit her
MACON — Macon police confirm a young girl was seriously injured after being struck by a tractor trailer Monday evening. The girl's great aunt, Marjorie Boggos, said the girl is in stable but critical condition. She has a brain bleed, a bruised lung and multiple lacerations.
Police found the injured girl at 5:19 p.m. at US Highway 63, known as Missouri Street at the junction of Elm Street. They say she tried to run across the highway against the crosswalk sign when she was hit by the semi.
According to Boggos, the girl and her older sister were leaving a school event together. The older sister crossed the street first, but the younger girl did not make it across the street. They were on their way to their great uncle's house, which was behind a nearby car wash.
Boggos said divers of large trucks need to be careful.
"Especially this time of year when people are, you know, when so many things are being demanded from them. And they just need to slow down. It's not worth a life," Boggos said.
Witnesses initially told KOMU 8 News that the crosswalk sign was on but MPD confirms the driver of the tractor trailer traveling southbound had a green light at the intersection.
Macon Police Chief Steve Ollinger said police have made contact with a person of interest who appears to have unknowingly hit the girl and continued driving.
"I can't recall in my almost 15 years as a chief, I can't recall of another pedestrian accident at that location'" Ollinger said.
The young girl was life flighted from Macon to an area hospital and was in serious condition as of Tuesday morning.
Two people who witnessed the event said they saw a 6-year-old girl running across the street when she was hit by the semi and thrown over toward the nearby car wash. The women jumped out of their car and ran to the girl to help.
"You have someone sitting there, laying with you, telling you, ‘You gotta stay calm, you gotta stay collected, someone is coming for you. You gotta stay calm for them because they are going to take care of you afterwards,’” witness Nancy Cheynne said.
Macon Elementary Interim Superintendent Richard Basden said the girl and her sister were leaving a Santa's Workshop event at the school when the accident happened. Basden said crosswalk guards are usually posted every morning before school starts until about 4 p.m. but none were on duty at the time of the accident.
"I think that when you have a tragedy of any kind you need to take a look at what happened," Basden said in relation to pedestrian safety. "Are there changes that need to be considered?"
The police are urging any witnesses to come forward so the police can complete their investigation.
[Editor's note: This story has been updated with information from the Macon Police Department, the victim's great aunt and the Macon Elementary Interim Superintendent.]