Mom, daughter hit by SUV while walking to bus stop
DUNDEE (FOX 13) - Neighbors say they knew it was coming: someone would be injured - even killed - on rural, poorly lit Weiberg Road.
"Anytime after 6:30 in the morning, they start traveling. And it's still kinda dark at that time," says Norma Gonzalez, who lives along the road.
Around 7 Tuesday morning, 7-year-old Esmeralda Garcia was walking down the road with her mom and two other children. Deputies say Esmeralda and her mom, Consuelo Cristanos were in the road when 30-year-old Stephen Raisor swiped them in a red SUV.
Deputies say Raisor told them he was clearing the condensation from his windshield this morning when he hit them.
"They say they had worked all night and just got home from work and they didn't see them on the highway," said Charles Hunt, who says his niece was in the car with Raisor at the time.
Hunt's lived on the road for 40 years and says he often sees the second-grader walking to the bus stop along Weiberg Road with her mom.
"Momma was always holding the little girl's hand and walk her to school. And then she'd go down there, evening time, and walk her back from school," he said.
Both Esmeralda and Consuelo are fighting for their lives in two Polk County hospitals. In the meantime, neighbors say the county needs to step up.
"I don't want to say it was an accident waiting to happen, but it's dangerous. I'm pretty sure the county, the city's aware of that," Gonzalez said.
FOX 13 reached out to the county to see if they're looking into adding more lights or a sidewalk to Weiberg Road. We have yet to hear back.