2-year-old airlifted to hospital following hit and run

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ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — Public safety officers are investigating after a 2-year-old girl was struck by a hit and run driver in St. Joseph on Sept. 4.

Police say the toddler was with her parents who were walking southbound along Lake Shore Drive just south of Hilltop Road when a vehicle traveling in the same direction struck the girl in the head with its passenger mirror before driving away.

“The mother had the 2-year-old child over her shoulder," said Mark Clapp, director of public safety in St. Joseph. "She was walking southbound and a southbound vehicle came along and clipped her shoulder and hit the baby's head with what we believe is the outside passenger side mirror."

Clapp said the family was out walking to watch the sunset and was returning from a nearby park when the incident happened around 8:30 and 9pm.

The vehicle was believed to have been traveling about 45 mph, the posted speed limit in the area, according to Clapp.

"According to the victim it made a loud enough 'pop' that anyone driving would've realized they hit something," he said.

The family is new to the country, having only moved to the area about six weeks ago, according to police who said the family didn't know where to go to find a hospital or who to call following the incident.

Clapp said the family returned home first before calling police. The girl was airlifted to Bronson Hospital in Kalamzoo with minor injuries. She has since been released and is now recovering at home, believed to be okay.

"It is very unusual just in the way it happened, and where it happened, and the fact it was just the outside mirror," Clapp said.

"It's not where we have a lot of pedestrian traffic, it's possible the driver didn't know they hit somebody, in which case they just need to contact us so we can clear it up."

Police could only describe the suspected vehicle as a black SUV, possibly a BMW.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Saint Joseph Department of Public Safety at 269-985-0300, anonymous tip line at 269-985-0301, or Crime Stoppers at 800-342-7867.

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  • again

    please everybody,,walk against traffic,so you can take action by seeing the auto coming towards you.ride with traffic.
    this was taught to me over 45 years ago by my parents . hope every one is doing fine.

    • Lori

      AMEN! There are two crosses within 50 ft on my street and I STILL see people walking on the wrong side of the road. It still doesn’t mean that you should be struck by a car that leaves the scene. It just gives you more control over what is coming at you!

  • Pamela

    The driver probably didn’t here it. When you have your radio on you’re not going to hear that, or someone that’s hard of hearing. Why on earth would you walk that close to the road, especially with a child.

  • Lori

    Radio…no radio. Hard of hearing or any other stupid excuse for not taking responsibly for their actions. Please…I know when I hit a bird and my music is always loud! I can feel when I run over something as small as a squirrel and I drive a truck! Who doesn’t look in their rear view mirror when you feel a thunk after driving past people walking? It scares me that there are so many people now a days that are willing to keep on going instead of facing what they have done and paying the price for it, what ever that price may be. My daughters 15 yr old friend was just killed by a hit and run so I know first hand the pain these cowards cause by not stopping at their ACCIDENT. He died alone and laid in the median alone until she called to report hitting something when she got to work. I could not let a dog die alone so I do not get it. I just cannot imagine. People are being treated like road kill. Five hit and runs within 2 weeks in September alone. Wake up people! PLEASE