8-Year-Old's Hit-and-Run Death 'Devastating'

Mariela Crisostomo, 8, was struck and killed near her house on the South Side Tuesday night

By Stefan Holt and Dominic Trombino
|  Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011  |  Updated 11:03 PM CDT
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June 15, 2011: An 8-year-old Chicago girl described by her teachers as helped and caring was fatally struck Tuesday afternoon by a sport-utility vehicle that fled the scene, police say.

June 15, 2011: An 8-year-old Chicago girl described by her teachers as helped and caring was fatally struck Tuesday afternoon by a sport-utility vehicle that fled the scene, police say.

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An 8-year-old Chicago girl described by her teachers as helped and caring was fatally struck Tuesday afternoon by a sport-utility vehicle that fled the scene, police say.

Police are now on the lookout for the silver or gray SUV that struck and killed the girl, identified as Mariela Crisostomo.

Crisostomo was riding her bike on the 3300 block of West 62nd Place when the SUV struck her and fled the scene, according to police. Witnesses said they saw two women inside the vehicle.

“I just chased the car, waving my hands at the SUV," said Michelle Lopez, a friend of Crisostomo and a witness to the accident. "They speeded up."

News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak said that after the girl was hit, she landed under a parked vehicle.

“I wanted to see if she was still breathing, and she was," said Crisostomo's friend Marlene Lopez. "I dragged her from out under the car, and I picked her up to the grass.”

“There was a lot of blood," Lopez said. "She was still breathing, but she just wasn’t there.”

The medical examiner's office said Crisostomo was pronounced dead at 4:08 a.m. Wednesday at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

“I looked out on my front lawn and saw the girl bleeding out of her forehead," said Sergio Montelongo, a neighbor. "It just sounded like thunder, I guess from the car hitting her and the car that was right here.”

Neighbors lit candles and placed a teddy bear where the accident happened.

“You never expect to get news like this," said Nina Obediah, Crisostomo's homeroom teacher from last year. "And when you do, I mean, it’s devastating.”

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