FARIBAULT, Minn. (KMSP) - Along Second Avenue NW in Faribault Tuesday morning, even the steady whine of rush hour traffic couldn't drown out the sound of panic.
A 13-year-old girl had been walking to a bus stop when police said she was struck by an SUV while crossing at 8th Street NW, thrown almost 50 feet as several people looked on. Multiple other vehicles in both directions on 2nd Avenue had already stopped to let her cross.
"I woke up to a crash and a little girl scream," said Toni Carson, a neighbor who lives nearby. "And it's just so sad. All she wanted to do was go to school and now she's sitting in the hospital."
The victim was conscious, but incoherent when police arrived. She transported to a nearby hospital and later airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center. Her condition is unknown.
The 55-year-old driver was released from the scene, but is expected to be charged at a later date.
Faribault Police are reminding drivers to slow down and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. There are no stop signs on 2nd Avenue where the accident took place, but drivers are expected to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
“This tragic crash was completely preventable. Our thoughts are with the girl and her family as she recovers,” Chief Andy Bohlen said in a statement.
The crash remains under investigation.