A 5-year-old girl was killed in a hit-and-run accident Saturday afternoon in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood after she left her house to buy a treat from an ice cream truck.
Maria Gonzalez was with her mother in her home in the 5900 block of South Mozart doing her homework at about 3:15 p.m. when she heard the sound of an ice cream truck, her father, Juan Gonzales, told NBC Chicago. Maria managed to unhook the chain lock on her front door using a broom and ran outside before either parent could stop her, the family said.
Maria's father, who was working outside in the yard, said he told his daughter to stop running, but the girl continued toward the truck.
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On her way back to their home after stopping by the ice cream truck, a dark-colored vehicle sped by and struck Maria, Chicago Police said. Juan Gonzalez, who heard the impact but did not see it, said the driver seemed to be driving more than 40 miles per hour.
"I heard the crash," he said. "I never let my child go out."
Security video from a neighbor's camera shows the vehicle traveling fast down Mozart Avenue near 59th Street.
Gonzalez said he found his daughter underneath a parked car about 30 feet away from where she was hit.
A neighbor who saw the incident said he's haunted by the image.
"I got to see her face up close, it was maybe less than a foot or two away from me," said George Castrejon.
Following the accident, the driver fled the scene.
"Why he run away?" Gonzalez said. "Why didn't he stop?"
Maria's family called an ambulance, but the girl died on the way to the hospital, her father said.
Police said the vehicle they are looking for is a two-door, dark-colored Honda Civic with a dull or primer finish, equipped with a sunroof and spoiler. The vehicle was last seen traveling westbound on 60th Street from Mozart Avenue.
Police ask anyone with information regarding the accident to contact the Major Accident Investigation Unit at 312-745-4521.
The girl's wake will be held from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday at Marin Funeral Home, at 5744 W. 51st Street. The funeral is Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., with burial to follow at Resurrection Cemetery, at 7201 S. Archer Ave.