Girl, 9, Struck by Car in Front Yard in Crash Caught on Video Thanks Brother for Saving Her Life
A 9-year-old Georgia girl hit by an out-of-control car while playing in her front yard says she owes her life to her 12-year-old brother, who performed CPR on her after the terrifying crash.
LaDerihanna Holmes suffered a fractured skull and broken pelvis in three places when the vehicle slammed into her on March 29, sending her flying into the air while it crashed through her home in Lithonia.
Video of the horrifying moment was captured by surveillance cameras, which shows a man appearing to flee the scene. Meanwhile, LaDerihanna’s family rushed to help her, including one of her four brothers.
“He saved my life,” LaDerihanna said on Friday’s Today, speaking out for the first time about the crash in an interview with NBC’s Kerry Sanders.
The young girl is still in the hospital and in a wheelchair, but is improving with physical therapy and even took a few steps with a walker. “I’m doing better than I did on Sunday, because I was in a lot, a lot of pain,” LaDerihanna said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to be in the hospital for too long.’”
“She’s truly a miracle,” LaDerihanna’s mother, Charlette Bolton, remarked. “From what happened to her, I’m surprised she’s alive.”
“She has a long road to recovery,” added Chris Stewart, the family attorney. “At night, when she’s by herself with me, her parents, it’s not smiles.”
A four-day manhunt for the driver of the car began following the accident, ending on Tuesday after Gabriel Jabri Fordham, 28, turned himself in to police.
He’s currently behind bars and has been charged with failure to maintain lane, failure to stop at a stop sign, reckless driving, hit and run and serious injury by vehicle.
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Fordham’s lawyers say their client did not flee the scene, stating in a news conference on Wednesday that he actually remained on the scene to help as another man fled. That person, according to Dontaye Carter, a spokesman for Fordham’s legal team, was allegedly an armed carjacker with whom Fordham was fighting when the crash happened.
“At no point did our client try to willfully leave the scene,” Carter said. “He had a gun pointed at him.”
The DeKalb County Police Department said at news conference on Wednesday that the investigation was still ongoing, CNN reported.
LaDerihanna’s parents are skeptical of Carter’s claim. “I don’t believe it one bit,” said Bolton. “It’s outrageous. He didn’t report that he was carjacked until they came to get him.”
Meanwhile, Bolton is working on finding a new home for her family, as the house is no longer habitable after the damages sustained in the crash. A GoFundMe page has already raised nearly $60,000 of a $75,000 goal to pay for LaDerihanna’s medical bills.
The girl is determined to one day return to her favorite activity: cheerleading.
“Most definitely,” she told NBC News.
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