Family Blames Police After Deputy Hits Girl


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Eyewitness News talked to a family of a 6-year-old girl who was hit and badly injured by an Orange County deputy on John Young Parkway and the family said the Orlando police should pay.

The family thinks the crossing guard, who works for the Orlando Police Department, left the intersection early before the December crash; the Orange County deputy, who hit the girl, was not charged.

Lawonda Gandy's 6-year-old daughter, Marquesha Henderson, was hit by an unmarked sheriff's deputy's cruiser in early December while walking home from Orange Center Elementary School. Now, Gandy is looking for someone to help pay the thousands in medical expenses.

The crash happened at the intersection of John Young Parkway and Orange Center Boulevard (see map) just before 2:00pm.

"Had come around and my kids were nowhere in sight," Gandy told Eyewitness News.

Then, one of her daughters knocked at the door.

"I jumped up and said, ‘It's 1:35, what's going on?' And she said, ‘Marquesha had been hit and she's laying out on the road.' That's when I lost it," Gandy said.

When Gandy found her daughter, she was on the road in a puddle of blood. The kindergartner was walking home with her two other sisters, as she normally does. School let out at 1:15 and she tried to cross, but was hit by Lt. Julia Blackmon.

Eyewitness News tried to find Blackmon Wednesday, but she had already gone home for the day.

"If, in fact, you are let out of school at a certain time and there is a school crossing, then you should have school guards at that crossing. If they weren't there, then there is an issue as to why they weren't," personal injury attorney Mark NeJame told Eyewitness News.

The Orlando Police Department is responsible for the school crossing guards outside Orange Center Elementary School and wouldn't comment, because the case is still under investigation. The Orlando police investigation is expected to be wrapped up by the end of the week.

The girl is back home recovering, but will miss school for the next three months due to her injuries. She's expected to fully recover.

Previous Stories: December 10, 2009: Sheriff's Vehicle Hits, Critically Injures 6-Year-Old Girl