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Girl, 5, killed in hit-and-run after stop at ice cream truck

Maria Gonzalez


CBS Chicago

CHICAGO -- Police are asking the public for information that helps them find the driver of a car that struck and killed a 5-year-old girl on Chicago's southwest side.

Authorities say the car that hit 5-year-old Maria Gonzalez was a 2-door Honda Civic with a sunroof and spoiler and a dark finish that was dull or had a primer coat. The car also may have a front-end bra, sport muffler and a broken lamp.

Maria's family says she was struck Saturday afternoon on a residential street after she bought a treat from an ice cream vendor. The driver fled the scene.

Her father says the girl died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

CBS Chicago reported that police released a surveillance photo of the vehicle.

Witnesses say the driver not only didn't stop, he never even slowed down.

Inside her family's home, Gonzalez was remembered with candles and flowers. Her father, Juan Gonzalez, clutched his daughter's kindergarten artwork.

"That's me, the mom, the brother and the police cars," he said. "He catch the bad people."

Now, it's up to police to catch speeding driver who killed Maria just outside her home.

"The guy, he doesn't stop, he kept going more fast," said Gonzalez.

Security video from a nearby house shows the car whipping around the corner.

Another child darted across the street to an ice cream truck. Maria wanted ice cream, too. She grabbed a broom and somehow managed to remove the door chain.

"I see her walk across the street to the ice cream truck," Juan Gonzalez said.

But a gangway lock and chain kept her dad from catching his daughter and moments later, the speeding sedan struck Maria and kept on going.

"I heard a loud bang, I come out and a gentleman was hysterically yelling," said neighbor Stevon Anaya. "It was his daughter that got hit."

The impact was so severe, it threw Maria's body 50 feet, wedged under a car at the curb.

"I guess you could say it kind of haunts me now because I got to see her face not even a foot from mine," said George Castrejon.

Police issued an alert, and description of the car, but what her father wants most, is the one thing he can't have.

"The only thing I want is my child back," her father said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police Major Accidents Investigations Unit at (312) 745-4521.