• Girl, 14, killed by hit-and-run driver; friend heard screaming in 911 call


    DELAND, Fla. - Authorities are looking for the driver of a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run crash that left a 14-year-old DeLand girl dead, and another teen injured.

    The Florida Highway Patrol said Rachel Russell and Juliana Hobbs, who is also 14, were walking along South Spring Garden Avenue in DeLand Saturday night when they were hit by the vehicle.

    Hobbs' sisters and Russell spoke with WFTV about the incident.

    "I feel like I'm looking at Juliana laying in the road all over again," said Russell.

    Russell said two men in a car started hollering at them. She said the men turned around at a nearby church parking lot and then drove right at them. Russell said she only remembers getting hit and then blacking out.

    "I screamed, 'Help!' And I thought Juliana ran to get help, but I saw her laying facedown in the road," said Russell.

    Two people called 911 that night. In the calls, Russell is heard screaming.

    "Why am I still alive? Why am I still alive?" Russell is heard asking the 911 operator.

    "I just wanted Juliana to be OK. They had to tell me to stop screaming," Russell said.

    Hobbs later died at the hospital. Her sister spoke to WFTV on Monday.

    "She was great. She was such a beautiful soul, and she by no means deserved something like this. She was only 14," said Hobbs' sister, Courtney Myers.

    Troopers said they have a person of interest, and they have a damaged car, consistent with Saturday night's crash.

    "We have to get the evidence pulled off of that car that can match and say that this was the scene that impacted these two girls," Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol said.

    FHP said the car, a four-door Toyota, was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to be processed.

     Hobbs' family said she was an organ donor.

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    Girl, 14, killed by hit-and-run driver; friend heard screaming in 911 call