SAN ANTONIO – The driver who hit and killed a 12-year-old girl on her way to school on the city's North Side on Thursday morning may not have been to blame, according to San Antonio police.
Officer Douglas Greene, an SAPD spokesman, said the accident at the intersection of West Avenue and Mount Tipton is still under investigation. Based on preliminary information, Greene said it appears the girl, identified as Mailani Godin, a sixth-grader at Eisenhower Middle School, may not have had the right of way.
"According to witnesses, they were crossing against the crossing signal," Greene said. "They were within the crosswalk, but they were crossing against the crossing signal."
Mailani was walking with friends to Eisenhower Middle School just before 7 a.m. when she was hit by the car. Police said it appears one of them noticed the approaching car at the last minute.
"It's my understanding that one of the young ladies attempted to grab the victim and pull her back before she was struck by the vehicle," Greene said. "She tried to save her friend's life."
Peter Gutierrez had spent the night at his father's home nearby and woke up to the sound of the crash. By the time he got dressed and went outside, others had tried to come to Mailani's rescue.
"There were people already surrounding the scene and some people helping," Gutierrez said. "From the impact that I heard, there was not going to be any surviving."
A father himself, Gutierrez said he can't imagine the pain the girl's parents must be feeling.
"It's terrible. You don't like to think about it," he said.
Aubrey Chancellor, a spokeswoman for the Northeast Independent School District, said grief counselors were being made available at the school.
Police said the driver of the car that hit her did stop and was cooperating with investigators.