OCOEE, Fla. - Ocoee police have released video that they said shows a black SUV leaving the scene of a crash that left a 10-year-old girl critically injured.
Police said two Citrus Oaks Elementary School students were hit by an SUV as they rode their bikes Jan. 20. One of the children, 10-year-old Aubrey Clark, is at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando in a medically induced coma. The other child was not seriously injured.
According to police, video from a red-light camera at the intersection of Clarke and Silver Star roads shows the SUV driven by Lastevie Howard shortly after the accident.
Police said that at about 21 seconds into the video, Howard's SUV is seen driving north on Clarke Road and then turning east onto Silver Star Road.
Police said Howard's SUV is seen driving 2,200 feet, past a number of access roads and business entrances where he could have turned around and returned to the scene of the accident.
Channel 9's Skywitness 9 HD flew over the scene and counted six
places that the driver could have stopped or turned around.
"He made a conscious decision to round that corner and keep on going," Lt. Mike Bryant of the Ocoee Police Department said.
Howard, 40, was arrested Friday and charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury and reckless driving with great bodily harm.
Police said that when they arrived to arrest Howard, he barricaded himself in his home, but later surrendered when they threatened to
send in a police dog .
According to police, Aubrey and her friend Jordan El Ouadi, 10, were riding their bicycles when they were hit by Howard’s SUV, which had driven onto the sidewalk near their elementary school in Ocoee.
Kelsey Hey said she can still remember the sound of the impact.
"I heard a lot of metal clinging together, and when I came out he was on the sidewalk," Hey said.
Witnesses told police that Howard was driving erratically in a Walgreens parking lot before the crash and that he tried to leave the scene after he struck the children.
"It was crazy. I have siblings of my own, and seeing someone do that, you know, not paying attention to what he was doing at the time he was leaving, it's sad," Hey said.
“There are people who said he obviously fled without stopping to help, but we also have him on the camera driving away from the intersection,” Lt. Brad Dreasher of the Ocoee Police Department said.
Aubrey Clark's family told Channel 9 on Monday that they are hoping that Aubrey will wake up from her medically induced coma any time.
Channel 9 was told Monday that blood flow tests to Aubrey's brain were positive and that she has been taking breaths on her own. She is scheduled for another MRI later this week.
Aubrey's father is an Osceola County firefighter. His fellow firefighters are working to raise money to help the family with Aubrey's medical costs.
Channel 9's Karla Ray has been covering this story. Her report on Eyewitness News at 4.