Father Makes Plea to Hit-and-Run Driver

Police are looking for a dark-colored sedan, either a Honda or Hyundai

By BJ Lutz and Natalie Martinez
|  Thursday, Aug 11, 2011  |  Updated 4:24 PM CDT
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Keenan Jackson is pleading with the public to help find the driver who hit his 9-year-old daughter and sped off.

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Kaniela Jackson spent Wednesday with her father, riding bikes and taking pictures, before grabbing dinner with her mother at one of their favorite fast food restaurants.

A day later, the 9-year-old girl was connected to machines at Christ Advocate Medical Center in Oak Lawn, fighting for her life.  She was struck and pinned underneath a car at 87th and Aberdeen streets, in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, by a dark-colored sedan.

The car didn't stop.

"I know my daughter and I know that she'll be strong. She'll fight all of this, but what would bring closure to our family is if someone could just step up and be a man about it, or a woman about it, and say, 'I made a mistake,'" said the girl's father, Keenan Jackson.

The girl, who is about to enter the 4th grade at St. Benedict the African, enjoyed being a cheerleader and wrestling.

"She's just fun. She has a great big personality... she's not the type of child that you knock down and she's going to lay there and cry. She's going to get back up," said Jackson. 

He called her a "miracle child."

What's miraculous is that while little Kaniela Jackson has severe injuries to her face, not a single bone in her little body was broken, despite being thrown into the air and pinned under a vehicle.

"She was in bad condition. She was laying down on her face, a lot of blood from her face. A lot of people came in here to try to help," said Issac Assaf, who was working at the Maxwell Street Express restaurant when the accident happened.

Police continue to look for the driver of the dark-colored sedan -- either a Honda or a Hyundai -- who struck Jackson as she walked across the intersection with her mother, sister and brother.

Witnesses said they're beside themselves as to how someone could strike a child and just drive away.

"[The driver] realized what he did. I don't know, I guess he got real scared or nervous or whatever happened, but that wasn't the thing to do," said witness Damon Collins.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Chicago police.

Kaniela Jackson

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